KOZHIKODE:In yet another case of official apathy, the development dreams of the Women and Children Hospital at Kottapparamba, which is fast emerging as a prime destination of pregnant women in the district, are at stake. No primary steps have been taken to erect the new block, while the renovation of the labour wing remains on paper even after an amount of Rs 2.5 crore was allocated through the maternal mortality rate reduction programme by the Union Health Department.
It was on February 27, 2014, that the Minister for Social Justice announced financial assistance of Rs 2.5 crore to erect a new building while attending the function held at the hospital to mark the official announcement of the NABH accreditation. During the function, Minister for Health V S Sivakumar had also said that the department would bear the rest of the expenses to upgrade the hospital with 750 beds.
The PWD was entrusted with the task of conducting a comprehensive survey to assess the space availability and to draft a comprehensive master plan. It was decided to build the new block by keeping the present century-old building intact.
The first government hospital in the state, accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Hospital and Health Care Providers (NABH), is witnessing a huge flow of patients.
As per the figures with the hospital, the number of patients who seek treatment at the hospital is as good as 550 per day. They include 250 gynaec and 300 paediatric cases. The hospital, with its bed strength of 206, has to deal with up to 230 delivery cases at one time. The reason for the increase in the number of patients, according to the doctors, is the quality of the services and medicines extended by the hospital free of cost.
“If the project goes functional, space crunch could be solved easily and more advanced facilities could be extended to the patients,” says an official with the hospital. Hospital officials say that they are unable to submit a plan to the state government, seeking administrative sanction, owing to the inordinate delay in stepping up adequate actions.
“The primary assessment work is yet to be initiated by the PWD authorities even though we have submitted our requirements to the department. We are all set to extend any help to the department,” an official says.
Though private architect groups have expressed interest in drafting the plan free of cost, the hospital authorities are reluctant to give a positive reply to it.
“We are apprehensive that the PWD officials might not approve the plan owing to various motives, including professional ego,” he laments.
When it comes to the renovation of the labour wing, no follow-up action has been taken after an architect visited the hospital last month.
“We are getting calls from the Union Health Department, asking about the renovation works. Unfortunately, we haven’t got any information from the PWD regarding the draft of the renovation works,” he adds.
What aggravates their apprehension is that the present inordinate delay in submitting the primary proposal might result in the loss of administrative sanction and the fund. However, the hospital authorities have decided to bring the attention of the district administration and the people’s representatives to the issue at the meeting of the Hospital Development Society, which is to be held at the hospital on May 13.
Meanwhile, when contacted, an official concerned of the PWD says that they are planning to draft a detailed master plan.
“At present, there are certain problems confronting the construction works. Some parts of the existing buildings will have to be demolished. It demands more time for the long-term development projects,” he says.
Further, according to him, the department is facing shortage of officials and architects.
He adds that the plan of the labour wing renovation works will be soon forwarded to the hospital authorities.