In an effort to provide specialised health services for the elderly, a research and academic wing under the Department of Geriatric Medicine will soon be inaugurated at the Madras Medical College.
In a press note that was released by the hospital recently, hospital authorities said that the two-storied wing was constructed in a space of over 30,510 sq ft at a cost of about `2 crore. The wing will provide special clinics for the elderly including a fracture-prevention clinic, a psycho-geriatric clinic and an active aging clinic. This will primarily focus on disability prevention and health promotion of senior citizens.
The wing will also have a state-of-the-art conference hall and accommodation facility for providing in-house geriatric training programmes for primary and secondary care doctors, and paramedical personnel and caregivers.
In addition, a proposal to set up a National Institute of Aging in Chennai at a cost of `150 crore had been submitted and is under the consideration by the Central Government. This institute will provide a comprehensive care for the elderly under one roof. It will also provide outpatient services, house a 200-bed inpatient ward, long term palliative care and rehabilitative services for elderly, and carry out research and training programmes in geriatrics.
Earlier, the Department of Geriatric Medicine at MMC had been upgraded and has a regional geriatric centre under the National Program for the Healthcare of Elderly (NPHCE). An eight-bed intensive care unit was inaugurated in February this year at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital at a cost of about `25 lakh.
At present, the geriatric unit treats over 150 outpatients from Monday to Saturday. Apart from that, the 10-bed inpatient services was increased to 60 – in both geriatric medical and surgical departments.