Elderly people in the country are deprived of specialised healthcare facilities. Health experts expressed concern about this at a concluding session of the First National Geriatrics Conference held at Shifa International Hospital (SIH) on Saturday.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Shahzad Khan Siddique, consultant geriatrician at Shifa, said, “Currently there are only two geriatricians, both serving in private hospitals.” Geriatrics which is a sub-specialty of family medicine focuses on healthcare for senior citizens and aims to promote health by preventing and treating diseases and disabilities in older adults.”
Most of the elderly are suffering from cardiac and orthopaedic diseases for which they consult general physicians, he added.
Most people believe that the elderly cannot be treated for diseases attributed to the age factor which is completely wrong, said Dr Siddique.
Doctors announced the establishment of Pakistan Geriatrics Society dedicated to improving healthcare and quality of life for the elderly. The newly-established society will campaign for more facilities for the elderly.
“We want to ensure that elderly people are treated with dignity and respect,” he added.
The newly-established society will promote the establishment of geriatric clubs across the country for unattended elderly patients.
The College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan has recently iniated the process to introduce specialisation in geriatrics. “We hope to see young doctors specialising in geriatrics,” Dr Siddique said.
Scientific sessions on various diseases common in senior citizens were addressed by specialists in addition to a public awareness session and free screening camp for the sick at the one-day conference.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 16th, 2012.
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