Jammu and Kashmir has received over Rs 4 crore 75 lakhs in the past three years under National Programme for Health Care of the Elderly (NPHCE) to provide accessible, affordable, and high-quality health services to an elderly population of the Union Territory (UT).
The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare had launched the “National Programme for the Health Care of Elderly” (NPHCE) during 2010-11 to address various health-related problems of elderly people.
As per the details available with Rising Kashmir, Rs 164.95 lakhs were released to J&K in 2019-20, Rs 144.50 lakhs in 2020-21, and Rs 166.50 lakhs in 2021-22.
The money had to be spent on providing primary healthcare services at district and sub-district hospitals through geriatric clinics, investigations, and rehabilitation services.
Besides tertiary care services through OPD and in-door facilities, the development of specialized human resources through various courses in geriatric medicine as well as research at Regional Geriatric Centers and National Centres for Ageing is also components of the scheme.
The National Programme for the Health Care of Elderly (NPHCE) seeks the establishment of Primary and Secondary Geriatric Care Services.
In addition, tertiary care geriatric healthcare centers are also part of the programme.
Earlier this year, the Directorate of Health Services Kashmir (DHSK) ordered the establishment of geriatric care units at all district hospitals of Kashmir and separate geriatric OPD units shall be functioning every Thursday with separate ticket counters.
The decision was taken in view of the growing old age population as the life expectancy throughout the country as well as in the valley has increased.
In Kashmir, JLNM Hospital and SKIMS have Geriatric OPDs. Few months back, Geriatric OPD was established at a Public Library at Bag-i-Mehtab.
Spokesperson, Directorate of Health Services Kashmir, Dr Mir Mushtaq told Rising Kashmir that the geriatric wards play a very important role for elderly people in the valley.
” We have trained geriatric specialists. Also, we have trained doctors as well to continue working in these wards. Besides, all the facilities have been put in place. So, in these years, we have upgraded all the geriatric wards in the valley hospitals,” he said.
Dr Mushtaq said that under the direction of LG Manoj Sinha, the department has made these geriatric wards functional within a limited time.