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Pensioners’ woes

Updated July 14, 2013

AFTER the government’s announcement of a 10 pc increase in salaries, as well as in pensions, I see a letter in Dawn on almost a daily basis on pensioners’ woes.

Being a pensioner since 1993, I also wish to give a bit of my mind. The authorities concerned think that the needs of a retiree are also over with his retirement, which is not so. The retiring age is such that every retiree is likely to fall prey to one or the other ailment like diabetes, blood pressure, osteoarthritis, heart problem, kidney and liver problems. Nearly 70 pc pensioners are suffering from these diseases.

Highly qualified and experienced doctors are charging Rs1,500 to Rs2,000 as consultation fee. They hand over a prescription to the patient for laboratory test; sometimes these are costly, and all the more so if the test needs to be done at one of the Aga Khan laboratories.

After visiting the laboratory, if the patient goes back to the doctor for medicines, then their cost would be no less that a bolt from the blue.

Where exactly should a patient aged 70 or above, surviving on meagre pension, go for treatment?

Old Persons Welfare Act of 2007 is gathering dust on the racks of the authorities concerned. There is also a Welfare Council for Old People. The Act, which fulfils 70 pc needs of old persons to a great extent, could not be brought to the National Assembly till date.

However, I am sure that the government would definitely come up to the expectations of senior citizens.