Water scarcity, power shortage, lack of adequate gynaecologists bog down Kamarajar Government Hospital

Hopes ran high in the rural belt of Manapparai, when buildings were declared open for the district headquarters hospital at Kannudaiyanpatti village on the Viralimalai road on the outskirts of Manapparai town, a few years ago. Additional buildings at a cost of Rs.7.37crore were constructed in two phases in the last two years.

The hospital, however, is ill-developed on several counts, and offers poor service to the targeted patients.

The Kamarajar government hospital at Manapparai was selected and upgraded into district headquarters hospital and the additional buildings have been constructed under the Tamil Nadu Health Systems Project at an outlay of Rs.3.57crore and under the National Rural Health Mission scheme at an outlay of Rs.3.8crore. The selection of the hospital for upgradation was consequent to the attachment of the Annal Gandhi memorial government hospital in Tiruchi city with the K.A.P.Viswanatham government college and hospital. Departments of general surgery, orthopaedics, ante-natal, ENT, paediatric, dermatology, and gynaecology were planned to be provided.

But, though a couple of years had elapsed, the hospital is yet to provide adequate service to the needy. Mannai A.Tamilmanickam, a resident, says that the recent accident involving the death of 16 persons following a collision between two buses had exposed the poor facilities available at the hospital to meet critical requirements.

The four-lane Tiruchi – Dindigul National Highway has witnessed several road accidents. “The hospital lacks facilities for surgery and other golden-hour treatment and is no better than a primary health centre,” he says. The police department must start an out-post at the headquarters hospital, he adds.

Endorsing the view, C.Tholkapian, deputy superintendent of police, said that the sub-division registered an increase in the number of fatal road accidents, particularly after the four-laning of the road.

During the current year alone, 105 persons were killed in 86 accidents. Use of wrong-lane and drunken driving has been the cause for most accidents. Given the circumstances posting of neurosurgeons in the hospital would go a long way in saving precious lives.

C.Selvaraj, a farmer of Manapparai, said that their only reason for hope is that the hospital is located in Kannudaiyanpatti village which falls under the Srirangam Assembly constituency represented by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.

According to local residents, more number of pharmacists and a chief pharmacist must also be posted. Currently, only two pharmacists, both women, man the job. Water scarcity poses a challenge to patients and hospital staff.

“We have attempted six times to drill a bore well, but in vain,” says T.Mohanasundaram, joint director of health, Tiruchi. He said that the hospital was undergoing some teething trouble but hoped that all would be sorted out in course of time. It would soon be developed into a full-fledged 300-bedded hospital.

The TWAD board has initiated special efforts to provide 50,000 litres of water. Erection of power transmission polls was also on. Doctors had already been appointed for various departments including paediatric, ENT and dental unit. Additional gynaecologists were needed for Manapparai. He hoped that the hospital would soon meet the requirements of the people. “We are in the process of providing the facilities,” he concluded.