Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar on Saturday announced setting up of two to three special geriatric wards at the Goa Medical College Hospital in the near future to take care of the elderly patients.
“Presently, the GMC hospital is running a geriatric outpatients department (OPD) every Saturday,” Parsekar added, pointing out that the patients, who are 60 years and above need special wards for their treatment. “However, as of now, there is no space in the GMC hospital to set up these wards,” he said, informing that once all super speciality facilities currently functioning in the GMC hospital are shifted to the proposed super speciality block, the vacant space would be utilised to set up two to three geriatric wards.
The Chief Minister, who was addressing a gathering of elderly people in the city during a function organised by the directorate of social welfare to commemorate International Day for Senior Citizens, further said that he is well aware of the inconveniences faced by the senior citizens in government offices as well as in public transport vehicles, and the necessary government instructions would immediately go to the concerned authorities so as to ensure freedom from these inconveniences. Minister for Social Welfare Mahadev Naik, city MLA Sidharth Kunkalienkar and Secretary for Social Welfare Virendra Kumar were present on the occasion.
Speaking further, the Chief Minister said that loneliness is the worst problem faced by the elderly people and the government has taken initiative to solve this problem with the support of village panchayats and municipalities by holding various programmes for senior citizens. “Presently, there are 35 day care centres in the state for senior citizens funded by the government,” he noted, observing that a senior citizen is a person, who is a good guide with ample experience for his family as well as society.
The Minister for Social Welfare said that the government is presently providing financial assistance to 98,045 citizens through its Dayanand Social Security Scheme by disbursing a monthly amount of Rs 9.60 crore to them.
The city MLA stated that the government should formulate a Senior Citizens’ Policy. He also said that the senior citizens can help to end negativity in the society, which exists in the form of opposition to every good proposal, and further lead the society in the right direction.
Twelve senior citizens from various talukas namely Roque Basil Maquo Dias, Ismail Adam Khan, Dhananjay Shetgaonkar, Lino Noronha, Gurunath Naik Pankar, Jaisinh Maganlal, Chandrakant Malkarni, Shankar Malik, Anant Gaonkar, Agapito Xavier, Vishnu Naik and Leopoldina Fernandes were felicitated on the occasion.
Roque Dias, speaking on the occasion said that even though enough development is taking place in Goa, the senior citizens face problems in daily life such as queues in the government offices, seats reserved for them in public transport vehicles occupied by others, uneven footpaths, ill-maintained parks and gardens and crossing of the roads.