TENKASI: With little facilities and specialists, the Government Hospital (GH) in Alangulam that nearly 2 lakh people depend on is crying for the State government's attention.
Vijayakumar, a resident of Kalathimadam village alleged the GH is simply functioning as a referral centre for the Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital (TvMCH). "My wife with twins in her womb was referred by the GH to TvMCH, located 38 km away from Alangulam. I was told there was no gynaecologist in the GH and that the caesarean and complicated delivery cases were always referred to TvMCH only. I had to admit my wife to a private hospital in Alangulam as it was too late. I had to borrow `62,000 at an exorbitant interest rate for paying hospital bills," he added.
New mothers Krishnavalli and Prabha (name changed) told TNIE both of them were referred to TvMCH even for normal delivery. "Not only delivery cases but also the people with various diseases are referred to TvMCH. There is no obstetrician-gynaecologists, general surgeon, orthologist and anesthesiologist here. Due to the lack of specialists, most of the beds in the in-patient wards are always lying vacant. This has forced the poor patients to go to private hospitals," said Pasupathi Devi, a councillor of Alangulam Union.
A doctor attached with the Directorate of Medical and Rural Health Services said only six doctors, most of whom with MBBS and diploma courses, are posted in the hospital. "There is no Chief Medical Officer in this GH. A dermatologist who was working here was deputed to VK Pudur GH. A pathologist whose service is required in the medical college hospitals has been posted in Alangulam just for counting purposes. The Integrated Counselling and Testing Centre which was counselling AIDS and its symptomatic patients in this GH is not functioning now," said the doctor.
The in-patients said the hospital administration is not providing them food thrice a day. "As the Tirunelveli - Tenkasi highway is witnessing more accidents, a critical care unit to treat the accident victims and the mortuary to conduct the postmortem are the need of the hour in Alangulam which is situated between two district headquarters. The operation theatres the hospital should be provided with state-of-the-art equipment," demanded a retired government doctor residing in Alangulam.
When contacted by TNIE, Dr Venkatrangan, Joint Director (Health Services) said that he had sent various proposals to the State government seeking more facilities in the hospital.