Kerala

He helps the poor get back on their feet

Dr. Harisankar of Govt Tribal Specialty Hospital

Dr. Harisankar of Govt Tribal Specialty Hospital   | Photo Credit: spl

Dr. Harisankar conducts over 1,000 surgeries in 4 years

Even as the Government Tribal Specialty Hospital at Kottathara near here lacks the required number of doctors and basic treatment facilities, its lone orthopaedic surgeon has won wide admiration by conducting more than a thousand surgeries over four years for patients hailing from tribal and other weaker sections.

Surgical treatment

The surgical treatment by Dr. Harisankar involves complex knee and hip replacements, but they have been conducted in an establishment devoid of facilities such as ortho-operation table and arthroscopic instruments. It was only a few months ago that a modern operation theatre was set up at the hospital along with a 100-bed post-surgical ward.

As the hospital observes its tenth anniversary on Sunday, the dedication and sincerity shown by Dr. Harisankar, who hails from Tirur in Malappuram district, is winning accolades.

“Even poor, non-tribal patients from outside Attappady and adjoining areas of Coimbatore district reach the hospital, seeking the advice of Dr. Harisankar for problems concerning the musculoskeletal system. He was able to fight the odds over these years with sheer determination and courage,” said hospital superintendent and Deputy District Medical Officer Dr. Prabhu Das.

“In remote areas such as Attappady, a day in the life of an orthopaedic surgeon is long and physically draining. But the results that we have achieved over these four years encourage us to do better,” said Dr. Harisankar, who spends his spare time interacting with tribal patients and learning about their health needs.

“In the area of tribal healthcare, there must be more focus on problems affecting knees, feet and ankles. One of our rare achievements was helping a 16-year-old tribal youth from Sholayur walk, through a knee surgery. He had been bedridden since birth and had been incapable of walking,” said Dr. Harisankar.

Free of cost

“Orthopaedic surgeries are very costly in private hospitals and they charge about ₹4 lakh for complex ones. But here, it is free and is held in an atmosphere filled with care and commitment,” said Basheer Madala, a local social worker.

Medical practitioners in other departments of the hospital assist Dr. Harisankar in the surgeries.

“I feel overwhelmed by the response from my patients. So I prefer to be here in the hospital for some more years,” said Dr. Harisankar.

M.B. Rajesh, MP, will inaugurate the tenth anniversary celebrations of the hospital on Sunday.

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 4:36:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/he-helps-the-poor-get-back-on-their-feet/article19526383.ece

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