KOZHIKODE: At a time when people are increasingly resorting to homoeo treatment for various diseases, most of the homoeo dispensaries in the city are in a state of neglect.
Even as lack of maintenance and infrastructure and staff shortage problems are mounting, the Corporation authorities seem to do nothing to provide better treatment facilities at these dispensaries.
At present, there are a total of six homoeo dispensaries in the Corporation limits, functioning at Mathottam, Panniyankara, Mankavu, Malaparamba, Payyanakkal and Cheruvannur.
The official statistics of outdoor patients at these dispensaries look good as around 150-200 patients are treated per day at these dispensaries. Being located in areas with dense population, the flow reaches up to 300 in some of them.
As per the agreement between the State Homoeopathy Department and the city Corporation, the Corporation authorities are obliged to ensure adequate facilities, including own buildings, for these dispensaries.
But, the 'City Express' has come to know that the dispensaries are functioning in rented buildings. Moreover, they are in dire need of space. At Panniyankara, the dispensary functions in the annex of the village office, the roof of which leaks during monsoon.
The dispensary, with its office, pharmacy and consulting room, is being operated from one room.
Narrating the sufferings of the staff, one of them says the available space is inadequate to meet the requirements. Besides, the building is left without proper toilets for both the staff and patients. The picture is not much different at Mathottam, where the dispensary functions in an old room, located adjacent to the store rooms of various commodities.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Abdul Salam says the staff as well as the patients have to rely upon the toilets at the nearby houses.
The dispensary at Payyanakkal, which is functioning in the building of an anganwadi, also lacks space. Chief Medical Officer Dr Jayasree says the building lacks adequate space to keep medicines.
At Malaparamba, the dispensary, which was inaugurated eleven months ago, functions with the financial assistance of the public. “The cooperation extended by the public is keeping the dispensary intact. But, it cannot function without the financial support of the Corporation. The arrears of seven months’ rent are pending. We have sought help from the Corporation authorities,” says Corporation councillor K C Shobhitha.
The dispensary at Mankavu, which is left without water supply, is the most hit among the six. The old building, which is in ruins, is still waiting for proper maintenance.
Shortage of staff also remains a concern, which needs the intervention of the authorities.
As the post of part-time sweeper lay vacant at Malaparamba and Payyanakkal, the staff have appointed sweepers by spending their own money.
Medical officers say despite their repeated pleas, meetings and follow-ups, the Corporation authorities are yet to address their woes.
Responding to the issue, District Medical Officer (Homoeopathy) Dr Kavitha says it is up to the Corporation to ensure adequate material support.
“There is no lapse on the part of the department in delivering medicines on time and in appointing staff. As per the norms and agreement, the dispensaries should be operated from their own buildings. The norms direct that the dispensaries should have buildings with a minimum space of 100 sq m each, which needs five cents of land,” she says.
“When it comes to the city Corporation, the directive may be impractical. But the authorities should, at least, provide the essential facilities, putting an end to the inordinate delay,” says Kavitha.
However, she adds, “We are satisfied with the huge flow of patients at the dispensaries.”
Meanwhile, Corporation Mayor A K Premajam, while admitting that the public are nowadays drawn towards homoeopathy, says that availability of land is a major impediment. The Corporation is doing its best to acquire adequate land to set up buildings for dispensaries, she says.