The Kerala State Human Rights Commission has condemned the tendency to pay lip service to tribal welfare in the State while crores of rupees earmarked for the purpose are wasted.
In an order on the plight of Government Tribal Specialty Hospital at Kottathara in Attappady, commission chairman J.B. Koshy said the report of the District Medical Officer was shocking. The hospital, the report said, had only an eye specialist, while five posts of specialist doctors, civil surgeon, gynaecologist, and lab technician were vacant.
There was no ambulance, and even the post of pharmacist had not been created for the hospital, which started functioning in 2007. The canteen was not functioning, there was no waste disposal facility, and the blood bank could not function owing to the failure to secure the mandatory approval of the Kerala State AIDS Control Society.
Mr. Koshy said doctors who went on strike for the flimsiest of reasons were reluctant to serve in tribal areas. The Kottathara hospital, he said, was a prime example of the negligent attitude to tribal people in Kerala.
The commission issued directions to the Chief Secretary, the Health Secretary, and the Scheduled Tribe Welfare Secretary to take immediate measures to address the inadequacies at the hospital and report back on August 30. The case will come up for hearing in September.