Tucked away in the back corner of the Government Hospital in Thamarassery taluk is a building that seems to have been forgotten by all. The writing on the front wall says ‘Mortuary for CMC Thamarassery, constructed under MPLAD scheme 1998-1999.’
Inaugurated with much fanfare in the late 1990s when the hospital was just a community health centre, this structure was meant to house the mortuary and autopsy facilities. Over the years, the hospital itself got upgraded to a taluk hospital. But the plight of the building remained the same.
When The Hindu visited the place, one of the rooms was visibly being used as a storehouse for cement sacks for a new building coming up on the premises. An old hospital bed and construction waste were seen on the veranda. The proposed mortuary was meant to fill the lack of such facilities in the region. There is a mortuary near Kalpetta in Wayanad, and the next one is available only at the Government Medical College Hospital, Kozhikode. The Thamarassery centre is situated midway between these two.
When contacted by The Hindu, the Medical Officer at the hospital, Abdul Rasheed, said plans were afoot to make the facility functional soon. “The Koduvally block panchayat has sanctioned Rs.5.5 lakh in the current Budget and a master plan has been prepared. This is meant to be a small facility, not a full-fledged one as in major hospitals. We will be having only routine cases and so no costly equipment is required to make it operational. Once the work is completed, we can speed up its implementation,” said Mr. Rasheed.
District Medical Officer P.K. Mohanan also confirmed the allocation of funds by the block panchayat. “The building has been lying unused for more than a decade. So it is in a dilapidated state now. It cannot be used without major renovation work,” said Mr. Mohanan.
“The block panchayat has the responsibility of works on the premises. During this period, many new initiatives to upgrade the facilities for treatment were taken up. So there were not enough funds to complete this,” he said when asked about the delay in making the facility functional.
Koduvally MLA V.M. Ummer Master said he had raised the issue in the District Development Committee meeting in June this year. “There was a functional mortuary facility in the hospital even during the British era. Then it got discontinued and this new structure was built. But then nothing happened for years. Now that funds have been allocated, we can expect it to become functional at last,” said he said.