: The Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital, which caters to the needs of poor patients from the southern districts, is set to add a maternity block with a neonatal intensive care unit by April.

The augmentation work will have an outlay of Rs. 2.93 crore.According to Collector C. Samayamoorthy, a three-storey building with a total area of 4,140 square metres is proposed to be constructed.

The casualty, pre-labour room, labour room, septic labour, intensive care unit, postnatal ward and other units will be located on the ground floor. Two operation theatres, emergency diagnostic laboratory, blood store, post-operative ward, drug store etc. will be situated on the first floor.

The neonatal and postnatal wards, laboratory, mobile X-ray with ultrasound scan, mothers’ counselling room will be established on the second floor, and the third floor will have 120 beds. As private hospitals with neonatal intensive care units “charge exorbitantly,” the poor have to either borrow from the local usurers ormortgage their houses / valuables in private financial institutions to save their babies.

Hence, the new facility will be a boon to the poor, the Collector observed.