Shows people’s faith in Government institutions: official
The number of rural patients benefiting from the 47 primary health centres (PHCs) in the district has recorded a considerable increase in the past year. It went up by over two lakh from 18.01 lakh in 2011 to 20.26 lakh in 2012.
Deputy Director of Health Services R. Damodharan says this reflects the increase in people’s trust in government’s health institutions and rejects popular perception that they are not reliable.
The strengthening of the trust can also be seen in the drop in infant mortality rate and maternal mortality rate.
It stood at 16.5 per 1,000 in 2011, and that was lower than the State average of 28. The maternal mortality rate was 0.50 per 1,000.
And, again, below the State average of 0.9. The Department of Health has undertaken a number of measures to reduce the mortalities. They include the increase in financial assistance for pregnant women to encourage delivery at government centres and vaccination to the newborn, vehicle support for the women prior to the delivery date and nutritious meal to the women and attendant during their stay at the centres.
The Department sends vehicles three days prior to the expected date of delivery to transport pregnant women to the nearby PHC to ensure timely medical care. All the PHCs have medical personnel round the clock.
The result of such a system has been that Coimbatore district has achieved 100 per cent institutional delivery.
The figure for the district, inclusive of both government and private institutions, has risen from 5,551 births in 2011 to 7,280 in 2012. Of this, more than 65 per cent is in government institutions, is Dr. Damodharan’s estimation.
All maternal deaths in the district, both at government or private hospitals, are investigated by a committee headed by the Collector.
It is empowered to suggest recommendations for improvement or appropriate departmental action, says Dr. Damodharan.
While Tamil Nadu has a birth rate of 16.3 per 1,000 and death rate of 7.6 per 1,000, Coimbatore has better figures on both counts, recording a birth rate of 15.2 and death rate of 5.4.
The Valparai Government Hospital has a ‘birth-waiting’ room.
Expectant mothers and attendants can stay for seven days, during which food would be provided free of cost, he adds.
The four additional days are due to the hilly terrain. Besides the 12 blocks of Coimbatore revenue district, the Department of Health Services office here also includes two blocks from Tirupur Revenue district – Sulthanpet and Annur.