The Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region (I/C), Prime Minister’s Office, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh said that the geriatric study has gained relevance in the recent years with increase in life span of people. This field has unique speciality where the parameter is based on age. He said that more than 70% of the population is below the age of 40 years, due to which India is facing bi-polar challenge. On the one hand we have increasing number of old population and on the other hand there is a large percentage of population in young age. He was speaking at the inauguration of 4th International Congress on Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine that is being organized along with the Asia Pacific Geriatric Medicine Network Conference at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. The vision of the conference is to improve old age care around the world. The Congress focuses on sensitisation and reorientation of health care professionals with the theme: ‘Future of Geriatric Medicine practice - Are you Ready?’ Keeping in mind the recent advances in healthcare and information technology, the discussions are being held on topics such as subjects of biogerontology and social & clinical geriatrics such as diabetes, euthanasia, elder abuse and geriatric patient care.
The Minister said earlier the challenge used to be of spread of communicable diseases, while now the challenge is that of non-communicable diseases spreading fast irrespective of age. This trend has posed a new challenge keeping in mind the economic and social cost of these diseases, he added. The younger generation, if affected with metabolically disorder diseases, will have to pay huge economic costs keeping in mind the increasing life span, the Minister said.Speaking about the Government’s efforts to improve health sector in India, Dr Jitendra Singh said that the Government led by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has accorded high priority to health care and prevention services. He said that launch of ‘Aayushmaan Bharat’ programme is an example specially in a developing country like India. He also spoke of other initiatives taken by Government for senior citizens like increase in minimum pension etc.The Director, AIIMS, Dr Randeep Gulleria, Chairman, Power Grid, Shri I S Jha, Vice-Chancellor, Pt B D Sharma University, Dr O P Kalra, Joint Secretary, Department of Pensions & Pensioners Welfare Shri S N Mathur and other dignitaries were also present on the occasion.