Healthcare for elderly a top priority for Govt.: Lal Singh

Jammu and Kashmir News

BARAMULLA, SEPTEMBER 03: Minister for Health and Medical Education, ARI and Trainings, Choudhary Lal Singh Thursday said that healthcare for elderly or senior citizens would be the topmost priority for the Government.

Speaking at a one day conference organised by Jammu and Kashmir Pensioners and Senior Citizens Association here today, the Minister said Government plans to do something “productive” and “positive” for the elderly population of the state.

“Your services will be remembered and providing healthcare will be our top most priority. You should be able to get the free treatment in all the government run hospitals,” he said adding “You are going to witness the change for yourself. There will be separate OPDs and separate counters for you (elderly).”

Mr. Singh was flanked by Minister for Law, Justice, Parliamentary Affairs, Relief and Rehabilitation, Syed Basharat Bukhari and MLA Baramulla, Javaid Hassan Beigh.

The Minister also directed the Director Health Services, Kashmir to make necessary arrangements for providing quality and free healthcare to the elderly population of the valley.

He said that his Department is working on the move that five districts would be adopted under National Programme for Care of Elderly (NPCE), in which the main hospitals will have to provide quality and free healthcare treatment for the elderly population of the state. The districts include Kupwara, Anantnag, Leh, Udhampur, Doda.

“The scheme will be stretched to the entire State in a phased manner,” the Minister said.

While asking authorities to ensure further improvement by providing modern facilities in every health institution of the State, the Minister said that Government has flagged health as the top most priority sector and people should be befitted at the government run hospitals.

He said that hospitals across the valley will focus on providing special windows to the elderly population, which will ease out their sufferings.

The Minister said government is putting all out efforts to further improvement system by providing infrastructure and human resource to rural and urban areas of the state. He said government was keen that every rural or district level hospital shall be well equipped and adequate men and machinery should be available.

The Minister had also a meeting with locals and other officials who raised many issues pertaining to the health sector. The Minister assured for the timely redressal. He expressed satisfaction about the improvement in working culture of the healthcare sector. However he urged upon them to work with more dedication and coordination.

The Minister later announced that Rs 1.23 crore shall be released for the development of the District Hospital Baramulla. He also directed Director Health Services Kashmir to release Rs 50 lakh for the Trauma Hospital, Pattan and Rs 50 lakh for the development of the Tarzu-Sopore hospital.

Earlier the Association presented two memoranda to which the Ministers assured that timely intervention will be made and their demands will be met. The Association demanded that Senior Citizens Act should be implemented in letter and spirit.

Later Minister for Law, Justice, Parliamentary Affairs, Relief and Rehabilitation, Syed Basharat Bukhari urged the members of the Association to join hands and contribute in the development of the state.

“Your Association being the biggest one in the State needs to contribute something to your respective societies. Pool in resources and join hands in rebuilding the state,” Bukhari said.

“You contribute in establishing hospitals, colleges or other facilities. But you have to come out with that zeal,” he said. Bukhari later prayed for the well being of the elderly population and dedicated a couplet to them.

District Development Commissioner, Baramulla, Yasha Mudgal, Director Health Service, Kashmir,  Sameer Mattoo, Director NRHM, Director Family Welfare, Dr Baldev Sharma, Managing Director, J&K Medical Supplies Corporation, Dr Yashpal Sharma, Director, J&K AIDS Control Society, Dr Saleem-Ur-Rehman,  Controller Drug, J&K, Dr. Nazir Ahmad Wani, President, Jammu and Kashmir Pensioners and Senior Citizens Association and other concerned officers of the Health Department.

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