KOCHI: The homoeo dispensaries under the Kochi Corporation are degenerating, thanks to the apathy of the authorities.
The dispensaries face shortage of medicines as well as doctors and many who prefer homoeo treatment are left in the lurch. Of the 30 dispensaries in various divisions many still function in rented buildings. “Each division has space available for new buildings, but no efforts are being taken to set them up,” said Mahesh Kumar one of the counsellors. “In some cases, the doctors pay the rent from their own pocket and collect it from the authorities later,” he said.
There are a good many patients who resort to homeopathy treatment, so their case cannot be neglected.
Another issue is the low salary of the staff. An attender in a dispensary gets only Rs 4,500 per month, which is too low considering the cost of living in the city. The pharmacist only gets around Rs 5,000. Often, most have to travel great distances to reach the dispensaries. There are incidents of salary being delayed up to 23 months.
The doctors also don’t fare better. Many get their salary very late. “The facilities in the dispensaries are also poor. Often medicines are not available. The responsibility to provide medicines lies with the Corporation,” said a doctor. Steps should be taken to revive the system, said some patients. Efficient planning and proper implementation can help revive them.
“We are facing a shortage of medicines owing to the termination of contract with the concerned medicine companies,” said Sunita Dixon, counsellor, Vyttila division.
When asked about the issue, Corporation Health Standing Committee chairman T K Ashraf said, “We are trying to sort out the problem immediately. The authorities should give substantial backing to such services.”