Kochi

Thrikkakara municipality slammed for delay in distributing medical assistance to seriously ill

More than six months after announcing an immediate relief of ₹2,000 to the seriously ill patients within its limits during the second wave of the pandemic, the Thrikkakara municipality is yet to honour that commitment, inviting strong criticism from the Opposition benches.

The municipality received around 600 applications from patients suffering from serious ailments such as cancer, cardiac problems, and kidney-related issues needing frequent dialysis.

“It is a paltry aid to begin with and yet the municipality’s apathy in distributing it is criminal. In fact, some of the applicants have since died without receiving the assistance. The governing committee’s reasoning that the delay is owing to the time taken for verifying the medical certificates from the primary health centres is unjustifiable, considering that these poor applicants had to run around to even secure those certificates,” said C.P. Manoop, an Independent councillor.

The Opposition raised the matter in the council on Tuesday, following which the municipal authorities agreed to complete the formalities and distribute the aid within a week. The Opposition has threatened to launch a strong protest if that deadline also goes unmet.

Mr. Manoop said that for a governing committee steeped in corruption the demand for verification of medical certificates for distributing such negligible assistance was unreasonable.

However, health standing committee chairman Rashid Ullampilly said the Opposition would cry foul and raise allegations of corruption if the assistance was distributed without proper verification. In fact, it was on demand by the Opposition itself that such verification was made mandatory, he said, and cited how the governing committee had to face corruption charges even for implementing people-friendly projects such as distribution of food kits.

“We wanted to avoid audit objections in the future and hence distributed the applications among three primary health centres in the municipality for attestation by medical officers. However, it got delayed as they cited COVID-related duties and vaccination drive. But the verification process is now complete and we are hopeful of distributing the money from our own fund this week itself,” said Mr. Ullampilly.


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Printable version | Jan 17, 2022 6:04:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/thrikkakara-municipality-slammed-for-delay-in-distributing-medical-assistance-to-seriously-ill/article37574356.ece

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