Mexico now has an institution devoted to researching age-related diseases and their treatment, and the care of the elderly, and training specialized staff: The Institute of Geriatrics.
The Institute of Geriatrics seeks to contribute to the strengthening of Mexico’s National Health System, through research and the education of human resources aimed at the elderly, a segment of the population which is constantly growing. According to an official census, in 2005 there were 8.2 million people over 60 years of age; by 2020 this figure will increase to 15 million, and by 2040 one of every four Mexicans will be in this age group.
In this context, aging is undoubtedly one of the greatest challenges Mexico faces in the twentieth-first century. Therein the importance of building mechanisms to provide the elderly with access to physical activity, proper nutrition, and the timely treatment of health conditions that may have negative consequences on their quality of life.
Although Mexico has created programs and infrastructure to meet the needs of the elderly, it is also true that geriatrics as a specialty still fails to attract enough medical-school graduates aspiring to become residents, while caregivers and specialized staff often do not have the adequate training. Thus, one of our goals is to answer this pressing need for specialized courses and a permanent training program.
Another aim is for the Institute to become a point of reference for various lines of research: from how to provide the best specialized medical attention, to how to guide public policy so it might assist the elderly in leading healthy, active lives. This task will be fulfilled in cooperation with a number of health and social security institutions, specialized and reference hospitals, and public assistance organisms.
Created by presidential decree on July 29, 2008, as a decentralized agency ascribed to the Ministry of Health, with operational, technical and administrative autonomy, the main functions of Mexico’s Institute of Geriatrics are:
* To foster education and training in human resources specialized in geriatrics and related topics, through the design and implementation of specialized programs and courses.
* To develop and promote studies and research on geriatrics and related topics.
* To assist the Ministry of Health in the design and implementation of a number of health programs and in establishing agreements regarding geriatrics issues with both the public and private sector.
* To act as a national reference agency concerning issues related to the subject of geriatrics.
* To publish and disseminate in the media studies and research on geriatrics made by the Institute, as well as on other related or complementary topics.
* To foster exchange between scientists on both the domestic and international level, by organizing meetings and establishing agreements with other institutions of its kind.
* To undertake any other activity necessary in order to accomplish its goal, in conformity with the decree by which it was founded and other applicable laws.
The Institute of Geriatrics assumes its tasks as a great challenge that demands commitment, highly specialized technical knowledge and, above all, generosity.
Periférico Sur No. 2767, Col. San Jerónimo Lídice,
Del. Magdalena Contreras, México D.F., C.P. 10200
Tel. 5573 8686, E-mail: contacto.geriatria.salud.gob.mx