Corporation-run Siddha dispensaries in Coimbatore witness rise in footfall

March 24, 2024 07:02 pm | Updated 09:07 pm IST - COIMBATORE

The Siddha dispensary at R.S. Puram, operated by the Coimbatore Corporation.

The Siddha dispensary at R.S. Puram, operated by the Coimbatore Corporation. | Photo Credit: S Siva Saravanan

The city’s two Corporation-run dispensaries, located in Town Hall and R.S. Puram, have reported an increase in visitors seeking nutrient supplements and medicines for preventive care. Between April 1, 2023 and March 15, 2024, around 1,300 individuals consulted the dispensaries, compared with 897 in the previous year.

Of this, 63.7 % visited the centre for up to three consultations, as compared to 34% the previous year, according to data provided by the civic body. The dispensaries are located in Town Hall and R. S. Puram.

Shanmugam, the Medical Officer (MO) at the Town Hall dispensary, noted that there has been a rise in patients with diabetes, arthritis, and autoimmune disorders over the past five years. Individuals aged 28 to 55 come seeking medicines for stress management without side effects, reflecting evolving health concerns.

Similar trends were observed at the R.S. Puram dispensary. Dr. Shanmugam attributed the growing preference for traditional medicine to its perceived lack of side effects.

During consultations, MOs at both centres begin by assessing the patient’s Dosha or composition of elements such as air, water, earth, fire and space.

Interestingly, he also highlighted the prevalence of Vatta dominance among individuals in Coimbatore, attributing it to allegedly high-functioning anxiety prevalent in the city’s populace. “Dosha imbalances vary among individuals, influenced by factors such as the urban environment and occupational stress,” he explained.

In addition to dispensing medicines after consultations, both centres maintain patient records to track follow-up appointments. An assistant nurse said, “In traditional medicine, consistency is important so we also schedule and remind patients of upcoming visits. We keep a manual log for this.”

An official from the CCMC’s health division said, “We are looking to digitise the system of patient records at Siddha centres so that messages can be sent to patients regularly. For this, the civic body will be allocating a sum very soon.”

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