Absence of neurologist at Erode GH puts differently abled to hardship

They are forced to go to Salem or Coimbatore GHs to obtain disability certificate

Published - March 04, 2020 12:35 am IST - ERODE

A view of the District Headquarters Hospital in Erode.

A view of the District Headquarters Hospital in Erode.

In the absence of neurologist at the District Headquarters Hospital at Erode to issue disability certificate, differently abled persons are forced to travel to government hospitals in Salem and Coimbatore for obtaining the certificate, undergoing immense hardship.

There are about 56,000 differently-abled persons in the district who are covered under 21 types of disabilities as listed under the Right of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016. They need to obtain the disability certificate from a specialist doctor confirming the percentage of disability in them after which they are issued Unique Disability Identity Card (UDID) issued by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities that comes under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. While other specialised doctors are available for assessing and issuing the certificate, persons with cerebral palsy, mental retardation and autism, who need to be certified by a neurologist, face hardship as the post remains vacant for over five years.

S. Durairaj, president, Erode District Differently Abled Welfare Association, told The Hindu that about 5 % of the differently abled needed to be certified by a neurologist so that they were eligible to receive assistance from both the Centre and the State government. Owing to the non-availability of the specialist in Erode GH, they need to travel to Coimbatore Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) or to Government Mohan Kumaramangalam Medical College and Hospital in Salem to meet the doctor and get the certificate.

“Persons with cerebral palsy cannot board buses and availing private taxi service is not affordable for them”, he said.

‘No action on petition’

The association had submitted a petition during the coordinating committee meeting held at the Collectorate three months ago, requesting that a neurologist be at least deputed from Salem or Coimbatore once a week for issuing the certificate. “So far, no action has been taken”, he said.

Joint Director of Health Services Gomathi was not available for comment. Sources in the health department said that works were on to convert the Erode GH into speciality hospital, after which the required doctors would be appointed.

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