Kerala cannot afford to remain aloof to the cases of outbreak of diseases in other States, Minister for Health Adoor Prakash has said. The increasing number of migrant labourers in the State has made it necessary to remain cautious to the occurrences in other parts of the country. The Minister cited the case of polio infection that was reported from the Howrah district of West Bengal in the previous year.

Mr. Prakash had pointed out the fact while inaugurating the Pulse Polio Immunisation programme in the State at a function that was held at the District Hospital here on Sunday.

He pointed out that the Health Department was on the verge of initiating a comprehensive development of the District Hospital here with works worth a total amount of Rs. 25 crore. The development project will be conducted in association with the Ministry of Health of the Central Government. He, however, reminded that a master plan should soon be worked out for planning the strategy of the project.

Mr. Prakash stressed on the necessity of upgrading the medical facilities in the hospital to lessen the heavy influx of patients at the Kottayam Medical College hospital. If this situation has to be addressed, the facilities at the other hospitals must be upgraded accordingly, he said.

In addition, the proposed Medical College hospital at Pathanamthitta would also prove effective in reducing the burden of the existing one at Kottayam. “The required land has been identified for the purpose. The Revenue Department has been requested to complete the necessary formalities for transferring the property at the earliest,” he said.

Echoing the views during the presidential address, Minister for Revenue and Kottayam M.L.A. Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan said that it was important to develop the peripheral medical facilities in the district. The proper handling of the existing paraphernalia and the maximum utilisation of infrastructure was also necessary, he added.

He called upon the Health Minister to address the shortcomings that have existed during the handling of the dialysis units at the District Hospital in order to ensure the benefit of those seeking medical attention. He noted that while the State Government had assured five more of such units, another four have been promised by a community of people hailing from the district and residing at Doha (in Qatar). Hence, the 13 units that include those assured will require sufficient number of support staff for handling and maintenance, the Minister said.

Mr. Radhakrishnan also urged for an increase in the number of seats in the Government School of Nursing here from the existing 20 seats. He said that strengthening the school would usher in the added benefit of using it to provide clinical support for the public, he said.

Director of Health Services P.K. Jameela, District panchayat president Radha V. Nair, Kottayam Municipal chairman Sunny Kalloor, District Medical Officer N.M. Aisha Bhai were among those who offered felicitations.

District Collector Mini Antony welcomed the gathering. Additional Director of Health Services N. Sreedhar proposed the vote of thanks.