The Local Out Patient (OP) section at Kottayam Government Medical College Hospital will start functioning from Monday, P.K. Sreemathy, Minister for Health has said.

The system now being practised at Thiruvananthapuram Government Medical College Hospital, is being implemented here in light of the implementation of the referral system at the Medical College Hospital.

Speaking to media persons, the Minister said in addition to Aarpookkara and Kumaranallore grama panchayats, Aymanom and Athirampuzha panchayats too have been included under the purview of the local OP, she said.

The Minister who paid a surprise visit to the Kottayam District Hospital in the morning, said the hospital was being strengthened in view of the implementation of the referral system. Presently the district hospital serves on an average, 1,800 out patients, a day. With the implementation of the referral system at the Medical College Hospital, the number is expected go up, she said.

The average strength of in-patients was around 300 and more than 250 major operations are being held at the district hospital a month, she pointed out.

In addition to the four doctors at the casualty, three additional hands have been posted through the National Rural Health Mission, she said and added that this has helped to hold evening OP from 2 pm to 8 pm.

In view of the ensuing Sabarimala pilgrim season, services of two more doctors would be made available, she said.

The district hospital being one of the designated Testing Centres for H1N1 flu, Ward 14 has been earmarked for swine flu patients. Ventilator facility has been provided at the ward, she said.

Ms. Sreemathy said that with the implementation of Specialty Cadre, there will be a quantum jump in the availability of doctors in the government hospitals in the district. While there are 93 doctors in the district, general and thaluk hospital and the TB Centre, their number will go up to 123 after the implementation of Specialty Cadre, she said.

The number of doctors at Changanassery will increase to 20 from the present 10; Pala thaluk hospital 18 (from11) Vaikom Thaluk hospital 23 (from14) TB Centre, three (from two).

Medical equipment worth Rs. 4.46 crore will be made available to the government hospitals this fiscal, she said.

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