Staff Reporter

There are 6 primary health centres in Chengam block

In Chengam alone 15 posts of doctors lying vacant

Some doctors not willing to work in rural areas

CHENGAM: There is an urgent need to upgrade the medical facilities offered to the poor at the six Primary Health Centres (PHCs) in the Chengam block in Tiruvannamalai district. Almost all PHCs in the Chengam block are not in a position to offer good medical facilities owing to shortage of doctors and other paramedical staff, including nurses.

There are a total of six PHCs in the Chengam block. The headquarter is situated at Melpallipattu.

Apart from Melpallipattu, PHCs existed at Arathavadi, Chennasamudram, Paramanandal, Penathoor and Elamkuni.

Even the medical facilities offered in the Pudupalayam block near Chengam are poor much to the anguish of the residents. A representative of a non- governmental organisation told The Hindu that two doctors and three nurses should man the PHCs as per government rules. The PHCs should function round the clock to cater for the people who came under below the poverty line (BPL).

Most of the PHCs in the Chengam block faced shortage of doctors.

Repeated representations have been made to the officials concerned, but no action had been taken so far.

Apart from the prescribed staff strength, each of the PHCs should have six village nurses. The main duty of the village nurse was that they should regularly visit the villages and attend to health problems. But this was seldom followed.

Even in Tirupattur, no specific measure has been taken to upgrade the PHCs, which have been also affected by shortage of doctors and nurses.

In most of the PHCs in Tirupattur and Chengam, the doctors are not available to attend to the patients as they have been deputed to attend to various medical camps conducted in the villages.

Moreover, the doctors are forced to go for regular training. In fact, a situation exists where the doctors at the PHCs are not available for more than 10 days, according to some of the patients at Chengam and Tirupattur.

In Chengam alone 15 posts of doctors have been lying vacant.

Some of the doctors at the PHCs said that they were not willing to work in rural areas as the government failed to offer them basic facilities.

No housing facilities were available to the doctors. Added to this the PHCs at Tirupattur and Chengam lacked basic facilities.

Residents said the problem would continue unless the government put in concerted efforts to offer more facilities to the doctors and nurses posted at the PHCs.