Thursday, June 27, 2013

Fwd: Private hospitals to have relief funds for elderly

Private hospitals to have relief funds for elderly

DC | R. Ayyappan | 12 hours 12 min ago

Thiruvananthapuram: The state government will direct private hospitals in the state to set up a 'relief fund' for financially-distressed senior citizens. The treatment cost of destitute old people, however high it is, will have to be met from this nest egg. This is one of a series of measures included in the newly-unveiled state policy for senior citizens to make the private healthcare sensitive to the needs of the old.

The policy, right at the outset, states that the private sector has failed to take care of the needs of the old people. "The private hospitals that have proliferated in the state in the post-liberalisation era have not accorded adequate consideration to the health needs of  senior citizens," it  says. The policy speaks about imposing a "moral code" to control the private sector, though it does not say how. 

"This moral code will bring about a reduction in the cost of treatment and medicines," the policy states. The policy is sympathetic to the health requirements of senior citizens in general. "The state government will negotiate with the hospitals in the private sector to subsidise the treatment cost of senior citizens, irrespective of their economic status," it says.

Besides, the government will also set up a government-controlled comprehensive health insurance fund for future senior citizens. Working men and women will be asked to part with a small share of their earnings that will go into the fund which will be used  to take care of their future medical needs.

Government hospitals will set up exclusive areas for the treatment of senior citizens and the private sector will be asked to follow suit. "Senior citizens should get automatic medical service. They should not be made to walk endlessly from one counter to the other," the policy states.


* Geriatric care to be included as a super specialty subject 

* Geriatric wards to be formed up to taluk hospitals

* Senior citizens with less than Rs 2.5 lakh annual income will receive free medicines

* Unemployed youth to be trained as home nurses for the aged

* Distribution of nutritious food for the financially-weak senior citizens

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