Senior citizens’ health care

It may well sound unbelievable that our Health and Medical Education Department is ignorant about the facilities, concessions and the benefits available to the senior citizens. Apart from violations of the Jammu and Kashmir Right to Information Act in the matter, the senior citizens are subjected to inconvenience and even neglect in an era of special treatment and care being lawfully ensured to be dispensed with in respect of senior citizens in the country.
In our State, it is painful to point out, things, in most instances, usually move only after the different forms of ombudsmen in the system , to appraise and redress, come to know about omissions and commissions in various departments that remedial measures are taken but in most of the cases, willful ignorance and non performance are not penalized. Once that part is taken care of by State Accountability Commission, State Information Commission, Vigilance and audit organizations and the like, a lot of administrative reforms will sprout automatically to the benefit of the common man. In the instant case, the State Information Commission came to know about this glaring neglect and directed the Administrative Secretary to immediately take the corrective measures.
What is required is due publicity through the media about the slew of benefits entitled to the senior citizens and not only how to be availed of but also which authority to contact in matters of complaints. In other words, not only the concerned departments feign ignorance about which medical and health benefits, the seniors can avail of but even the prospective recipients too do not know their legal claim to such facilities, things having come to such a pass.
Those, who in administration take such sensitive issues lightly must not forget that they too ultimately have to reach this stage. All concerned agencies in the Government must ensure proper compliance as directed by the State Information Commission and come out with periodic data as to which of the facilities were availed of by how many senior citizens, area wise and those erring personnel not complying with the rules to be penalized as directed by the SIC in the instant issue.