New Delhi: The Twenty-third Report of the Committee on Estimates, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on the Subject ‘Medical Education and Health Care in the Country has laid a strong emphasis on a sharpened focus on establishing more Regional Geriatric Centers and National Centers for Ageing across the country, particularly in rural and backward regions.
The report which was presented in the Lok Sabha by the Committee’s Chairman, Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi also lays emphasis on Geriatric Medicines Courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels as well as, in paramedical courses.
While noting that very few doctors are qualified geriatricians and most of the faculty members in Regional Geriatric Centres are General Physicians and that there are very few institutes/medical colleges recognized for conducting MD Geriatric Medicine course, the Committee have recommended that the Government should focus on establishing more Regional Geriatric Centres and National Centres for Ageing across the country particularly in rural and backward regions.
Given the rising ratio of geriatric population in the country, the report also called for inclusion of courses on geriatric medicine in the current undergraduate MBBS as well as postgraduate curriculums, even those in paramedical courses
There is also a need to give emphasis on Geriatric Medicines Courses at under graduate and post graduate levels as well as in paramedical courses. Intake capacity of geriatric courses in the medical colleges need to be increased considerably so as to overcome the shortage of geriatricians in the country.
The report also emphasizes on the need to encourage research in geriatrics particularly in the Indian Context to come up with logical conclusions having validity on the Indian population
Besides, research in geriatrics need to be encouraged particularly in areas such as evaluation of nutritional and functional status of elderly, common chronic and neuro-degenerative disorders like Alzheimers’s disease, cardiovascular disorders, depression, etc.
Speaking with Medical Dialogues, AIIMS RDA president, Dr Harijit Bhatti said, “This a welcome step of parliamentary panel that they emphasised the focus of Geriatric medicine. Elderly not only need physical well-being but also comprehensive getiatric assessment and a better quality of life. As number of elderly are increasing and will double till 2050, more and more geriatric Centres are required to tackle the tsunami of grey hair. Otherwise, managing a geriatric patient with multi morbidity and PolyPharmacy is difficult for other physicians to manage them without proper geriatric medicine knowledge and dedicated geriatric centres.”