The hospital currently offers only OP facilities

Various tribal and other organisations, under the banner of the Hospital Action Council, took out a march on Tuesday to protest against the lack of facilities at the 52-bedded Tribal Specialty Hospital at Kottathara in Attappady.

Writer T.D. Ramakrishnan inaugurated the march in front the Agali block panchayat office on Tuesday.

Mr. Ramakrishnan said that the government was neglecting the health needs of the tribal community in Attappady. The hospital that was started to reach medical facilities to the 25,000 strong tribal community in Attappady lacked basic facilities.

When the hospital started functioning in 2007, it offered in-patient facilities and had operation theatres and specialised doctors, said Pazhani Mooppan, tribal head and patron of the action council. But shortage of staff and lack of facilities had affected its functioning over the years.

Initially the hospital had six specialised doctors as against the required strength of 10, and had 22 paramedical staff in place of 70.

But the hospital's functioning had gone out of gear since then and it had just three doctors and a few paramedical staff currently, including a lab technician, Mr. Pazhani Mooppan said.

Though the hospital had modern facilities such as operation theatres, labour room, intensive care unit (ICU), neonatal ICU, X-ray and ECG facilities, blood bank, laboratories and so on, they were not working for want of doctors and other staff, said K.A. Ramu, chairman of the action council. Now only the OP clinic was working, he said.

With Central assistance

The Tribal Specialty Hospital was started with Central government funds in 2007 to address the lack of medical facilities faced by Attappady. However, now the poor patients reaching the hospital needed to be taken to other hospitals, and a couple of recent deaths could be attributed to the lack of medical facilities, action council secretary M. Murukesh said.

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