Though institutional deliveries have gradually increased in Hyderabad, there is no significant improvement in the number of deliveries taking place in the government hospitals. Women preferred private hospitals for delivery in spite of the high cost involved.

This is the impression gained by the Hyderabad Collector, Natarajan Gulzar, after visiting some of the government hospitals in the city. Big area hospitals, he feels, ought to evoke the same level of public confidence as the private hospitals.

He found the government hospitals wanting in many things. Poor maintenance, slow response and pitiable conditions in both inpatient and out patient care put off patients. Though many poor families lived around the King Koti Hospital, they still chose to avail the services of private hospitals for delivery, Mr. Gulzar said.

Health of children born in government hospital also left a lot to be desired. The newborns suffered from nutritional deficiency. This was the result of lack of coordination between the health volunteers like the Auxiliary Nurse Midwifes (ANMs) and the Anganwadi workers. While the ANMs kept track of the child births and gave immunisation, the Anganwadi workers were supposed to provide the nutritional support. A meeting of all the voluntary workers and the district health authorities will be held shortly to address this issue .

The new Collector is also in the process of evolving a mechanism to track the large number applications pouring in his office. About 200 persons turn up at the “Meekosam” meetings held every Monday with a variety of problems. At present there is no system to trace the applications. The authorities now propose to give a unique number to each application by which it would be possible to track the petition.

Be it pensions for widows, old persons, disabled or information on NOCs, housing – things can be had at the click of a button. “Instead of coming to the Collectorate, people can go to the Tahsildar or make use of any computer to find out the status of their applications by keying in the allotted number”, Mr. Gulzar said.

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