With the Kamarajar Government District Headquarters Hospital at Manapparai shifting all operations to the newly constructed premises on the outskirts of the town, patients visiting the hospital are in a spot of bother. Not only is connectivity to the hospital a constraint, but lack of bus shelters makes waiting for a bus an unpleasant experience for elderly, infirm pregnant women and mothers with young children.
All outpatient services and operation theatres have been shifted to the current premises located at Kannudaiyanpatti panchayat on the Viralimalai Road more than a kilometre from the old hospital near the Kamarajar statue.
While access to the old buildings was relatively easy due to frequency of buses, the new location necessitates patients to solely depend on buses plying to and from Viralimalai. “We have to wait for 20 to 30 minutes for a bus just to get to the main bus stand, a few kilometres away and then take a bus to our village,” says Shanthi, a patient. Most patients to the hospital are from rural pockets in Tiruchi. While trees near the entrance of the hospital may afford refuge in summer, patients are stranded during a spell of rain. Unlike the old hospital building, there are no commercial establishments nearby to run for cover.
Though acute water shortage at the hospital, a problem the hospital battled with for years, has apparently been put to rest with a separate water connection under a special arrangement with the Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board (TWAD), outpatients still complain of difficulty in finding potable water. However, hospital authorities say operation theatres and wards have been given top priority for water supply.