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50 docs for 5 lakh patients

india Updated: Aug 21, 2006 00:40 IST
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LUCKNOW HAS a geriatric (patients with old age-related ailments) population of over 5 lakh but the number of doctors specialised in geriatric health does not cross even the 50 mark.

As a result, patients consult general physicians, half of them not even aware of clinical facilities available or advisable for geriatric patients. The survey report prepared by ‘Astha’ centre for geriatric medicine and palliative care hospital, hospice and social welfare society says most of the physicians treating geriatric patients fail to diagnose the real ailment.

Among doctors who treat geriatric patients and who were questioned about geriatric medicine under the survey, 33 per cent had never heard about geriatric medicine.

About 16 per cent of the doctors had little knowledge about geriatric medicine while only 4 per cent were utilising the facilities for adult patients. Similar was the state of geriatric patients, half of them not aware about the specialised stream of medicine.

“Geriatric medicine is yet to become popular among clinicians who treat patient above 60 years just like any other patient of the young age group,” said the founder president of Astha Dr Abhishek Shukla.

He said 82 per cent people surveyed were anxious to know about this particular stream of medicine but did not know where to go. “Doctors often fail to diagnose the problem of geriatric patients. They prescribe separate medicines for each complaint of the patients but do not realise that geriatric patients have interrelated problems, thus, the main problems is not diagnosed or treated,” he said.

With a view to creating awareness among senior citizens about specific treatment, Astha on Sunday launched its weeklong health check-up camp in the city from Safdarganj road. The camp would be held at Taj Park in Gomti Nagar on Monday and at other prominent places in the next four days.  See also Pg 3

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