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IT minister lays foundation for ACF Geriatric and Palliative Care Hospital

Minister for Industries and IT Gudivada Amarnath has assured Age Care Foundation (ACF) of all possible support from the government for the services being extended by the ACF to provide free healthcare to the elderly and also persons with serious illnesses.

Participating in the Bhoomi Puja for construction of ACF Geriatric and Palliative Care Hospital at Gambheeram here on Sunday, he commended the services of the ACF in serving the needy. He advised ACF chairman G. Sambasiva Rao to give a representation seeking the support of the government for continuing the good work.

D. Raghunatha Rao, former Director of Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, spoke on the benefits of palliative care and the need to make the same available to all those who need it. Observing that the palliative care needs of the non-cancer patients were not being addressed by the existing health systems, he underscored the importance of training nurses and caregivers including family members to improve the quality of care to patients with serious illnesses.

Vice-Chancellor of Centurion University G.S.N. Raju spoke on the special healthcare needs of senior citizens and persons with chronic ailments. The university was conducting several vocational education programmes and was planning to start a certificate course in the field of geriatric care in association with the ACF and Gayatri Medical College. This would help develop a pool of skilled healthcare assistants to look after the needs of the elderly and the sick persons in the community.

Chief Executive Officer of Symbiosis Technologies and Trustee of ACF O. Naresh Kumar spoke on the objectives of the foundation and also its future plans to make the services available to a wider population, and highlighted the plans of ACF to associate with organisations, which already possess the expertise in their respective fields. The ACF was making efforts to mobilise the resources for the ambitious hospital project of integrated healthcare centre facility in 1.08 acres of land, with a built-up area of 84,298 sft. spread across five floors.

When completed, the new facility will have Dr Rokkam Sasi Prabha Centre for Geriatric Care, Dr Sunkara Venkata Adinarayana Rao Centre for Palliative Care, and Training Centre for Health Care Providers, who include caregivers, volunteers and social workers. Geriatric medicine is a medical sub-speciality that aims to meet the complex healthcare needs of the elderly, while Palliative Care is specialised medical care for people living with serious illness and focusses on providing relief from the symptoms and stress due to the ailment.

N.S. Raju, Managing Trustee of ACF, said that the proposed hospital is supported by Free Polio Surgical and Research Foundation in the city. He thanked the donors who have been contributing generously ever since the inception of ACF in 2012 for serving the poor and the needy.

Former Vice-Chancellor of Acharya Nagarjuna University V. Balamohan Das appealed to the public to support the ACF in completing the project within the next 18 months. K. Venkateswarlu, Emeritus Professor, Neuromedicine in Andhra Medical College, while appreciating the services of ACF, promised all possible help professionally and monetarily. The Hindu

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