Local govt bodies to take care of bedridden patients

Kollam: The local self-government will have the responsibility to ensure the welfare of patients including those who are bedridden. The service will be provided through a social voluntary force.

The social voluntary force which will launch doorstep government services in the state will act as caregivers to the patients in the next phase of their activities. The local self-government department has approved the guidelines of the project. It will be executed as part of the annual project of the local bodies.

In the initial phase of the voluntary force, people can seek government services at their doorstep. As part of this, mustering for pension, applications for Life Certificate, Social Welfare Pension and relief fund, life-saving medicines will be assured through the group of volunteers.

If the local bodies turn successful in establishing a strong service of volunteers, the government is planning to assign health and caregiving services and food safety to the group.

Staff in Akshaya centres, Janamaithri Police, Kudumbashree members, Anganwadi-ASHA workers and Palliative care workers are included in the social voluntary force.

The group of volunteers will be directed to pay regular visits to bedridden patients in each house and provide assistance to the patients in completing their daily routine. Daily wage will be given to the volunteers.

Consolation activities are another area of focus. NSS volunteers will be deployed for giving mental relaxation to people who are alone in houses.

Providing bystanders is another service. Those who don’t have anyone to accompany them to the hospital and buy medicine will be benefited from this.

The volunteers will be deployed if any families are unable to take care of a patient at a hospital or house. Travel allowance and daily wage will be given to these volunteers.

Food safety is another subject listed for social voluntary force. Food will be assured to all in the state.

Service of the volunteers will be provided to collect food from the community kitchen and deliver it to the needy.

The government will issue an identity community card to each person who is receiving benefits from the service.

A committee including representatives of health, police, ICDS, Akshaya centres and neighbourhood network will be formed under the local self-government secretary for monitoring the activities of the volunteers. The committee will have a government official as coordinator and a volunteer as general convener.

Aged people who belong to the 13 percent of the population, patients who are weak and bedridden (around 5 lakh of the population), those who are paralysed and suffering from serious illness (2 lakhs of the population) and differently-abled people who are identified as 2.32 percent of the population will be able to seek the service of the volunteers.