HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Patan Hospital in coordination with the Health and Population Ministry’s population division is operating a separate geriatric ward after Dashain
Dr Arjun Karki, vice-chancellor of the Patan Academy of Health Sciences, said the hospital is busy installing equipment for the ward.
The ward will have elderly-friendly toilet, passageway, floor and other infrastructure, according to Dr Karki.
The ministry is also working to establish geriatric centres at the Kirtipur-based National Ayurvedic Training and Research Centre and Bharatpur Hospital at a time when the country is witnessing an increase in life expectancy due to advances in the medical field, according to vice-chancellor Karki.
Nonetheless, the elders are suffering from various diseases and health institutions lack proper facilities to cater to them.
He informed that they have sent some doctors and nurses abroad for special training on geriatrics, noting that the country does not even have a single geriatric specialist.
Dr Karki further said that the hospital has yet to decide on the number of beds for the geriatric ward and fees for the services.
He stressed the need to address the problems of the ageing population, which constitutes a significant portion of the total population.
Dr Karki appealed to the government to focus on producing geriatric specialists and establishing hospitals to address problems of the ageing
He informed that the ministry is preparing a regulation for the operation of the ward in a systematic manner.
In Nepal, individuals over 65 years are considered old. According to the ministry, elders comprised 6.5 per cent of the population in 2001.
The projected growth in the number of elders by 2031 is 10 per cent.
The ministry estimates the elderly population to reach 3.5 million in 2031.