The Gauhati Medical College and Hospital. File picture
Sept. 5: The Gauhati Medical College and Hospital has submitted a Rs 5-crore proposal to Dispur for setting up a geriatric hospital that would provide the best possible treatment to the elderly.
The principal-cum-chief superintendent of the hospital, M.M. Deka, said a general hospital could not cater to the special needs and treatment of the elderly.
According to him, there is a difference in treating patients above 60 years of age and those below it. The doctors need training to deal with such cases, he said.
Most advanced countries have geriatric hospitals for effective treatment of patients above 60 years. As the average longevity of people has increased, there is an urgent need to set up such a hospital in Assam too, he said.
The GMCH admits several elderly patients everyday and hence it plans to set up a separate geriatric hospital on its campus. The head of the medicine department of the GMCH, Bhabani Chakraborty, has received training in tending geriatric patients, he added.
Deka said the hospital authorities would soon meet health and family welfare minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to discuss the proposal.
Governor Shiv Charan Mathur, speaking at the 8th foundation day of the Guwahati Senior Citizens Association recently, had assured the members that he would take up the issue with Dispur.
The GSCA has appealed to Dispur to set up a separate geriatric ward at the GMCH or establish a separate hospital. We demand that the government clear the GMCHs proposal at the earliest, association president and former vice-chancellor of Dibrugarh University Kamaleswar Bora said.
A senior doctor at the GMCH said treatment of patients above 65 years was always a very challenging task as the immune system of such patients became weak and many of them could not properly express their ailments.
Many elderly patients suffer from forgetfulness and do not take medicines regularly. These patients need to be under observation constantly. Only a geriatric hospital can cater to such needs, he added.