SENIOR CITIZENS will be spared the ordeal of running from pillar to post for health checkups as the UT Red Cross launched an Initiative aimed at providing healthcare to elderly people at their doorsteps. However, the services, which will be started from November 1 in the city, will not include emergency services.
The Initiative, named ‘Kushal Mitra (Doctor Apey Dwaar)’ has been launched by Indian Red Cross Society, in association with UT Administration and other private medical organisations. City MP Kirron Kher inaugurated the project on Saturday. “The objective is give them a comfortable and homely environment,” said an official.
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A statement by the UT administration said that “with nuclear families, changing family structures and increasing mobility of families, a large number of elderly citizens in Chandigarh are staying alone and need professional medical help from time to time”. “They face considerable difficulties in managing even minor health problems due to lack of availability of help at home and are sometimes hospitalised unnecessarily,” the statement added.
According to the Red Cross, under the initiative, home-based services are available with the visit of empanelled Doctors and Physiotherapists. “The doctors are registered and reputed,” said an official.
The service will also provide laboratory tests, ECG, X-Ray at “nominal charges” by availing services through toll Free Helpline Number:1800-180-2067. For registering to this service which started from today, Adhar card has been made mandatory by the officials.
Providing information about the services, red cross officials said that services are available for all above 60 years. “Availability of doctors will be from 8 am to 8 pm from Monday to Saturday and doctors will be available from the list of empanelled willing doctors,” said Sushil Kumar, an official of the UT Red Cross. “Afterwards, the service will be made available for 24 hours and 60 Doctors have already given their consent for this initiative.”
The poster of the initiative reads that all lab test, medicines and investigations will to be borne by the patients themselves.
It also said that in case of hospitalisation is required, the visiting doctors will only facilitate ambulance services for taking the patient to the hospitals.
A visit by a doctor would cost Rs 750, while as a physiotherapist will charge Rs 200 per visit. Lab test, ECG and X-rays would be conducted at subsidised rates and the ambulance service will be provided through UT 108 helpline. It has also provided a monthly package of Rs 2,500, which includes four visits in a month by reputed doctors.
“For effective implementation of the project, the Indian Red Cross Society, has proposed to hold seminars for elderly on chronic illness, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, arthritis and general health awareness in the city.