Kerala

Tribal heartland brings patient care on a par with the best

The FHC at Noolpuzha, the second largest tribal populated grama panchayat in the State, has topped the NQAC rating, thanks to to the collective efforts of the panchayat authorities and the hospital staff.

The villagers of Noolpuzha grama panchayat, the second largest tribal populated grama panchayat in the State, in Wayanad are an elated lot. Its Family Health Centre (FHC) has secured the first position in the country in the National Quality Assurance Certification (NQAC) process.

This is no ordinary government hospital, with grime on the walls and dust and dirt all over. It has clean interiors with each of its facility as good as it comes in the private sector. Till a year ago, this was yet another Primary Health Centre (PHC). The State government upgraded it into an FHC last year. Ever since, the hospital has been scaling new heights in patient care, securing an astounding score of 98 in the NQAC assessment carried out by a three-member expert team of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

“We could score 98 in the NQAC assessment, thanks to the active support extended by the Noolpuzha grama panchayat authorities and the collective effort of all the 40 members of the hospital staff. The assessment was done by a three-member panel and they were thorough in their job. The certificate is valid for three years till when there would be another inspection,” V.P. Dahar Mohammed, medical officer at the hospital, told The Hindu.

What K. Shoban Kumar, president, Noolpuzha grama panchayat, has to say clearly shows that the support of the panchayat was indeed crucial to the development of the hospital. “We have provided ₹1.75 crore from the Plan funds of the grama panchayat for all-round development of the hospital over the past three years and the National Health Mission (NHM) has chipped in with ₹30 lakh,” he says.

The hospital secured the top honour in the country by observing NQAS standards in service delivery, cleanliness, maintenance and inpatient and outpatient care. The outpatient wing is operational from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. every day, except Sundays, and it has a state-of-the-art air-conditioned laboratory with modern equipment such as haematology analyzer, fluorescent microscope and semi-auto biochemistry analyser, facilitating conduct of as many as 41 tests, including diagnostic procedures for sickle cell anaemia. And, all this is done free.

E-health programme

The institution has implemented an e-health programme for which the grama panchayat has appointed an engineering graduate as e-health technical engineer to maintain a server set up for the purpose. Every patient is provided a unique health ID number at the time of registration and a token number. The number can be used for follow-up treatment after scanning the number or bar code at a kiosk set up in the waiting area. The patient would be called for a preliminary health check-up after the registration and all the details of the patient are recorded. The entire treatment process is mapped on the server for dispensing medicines and for follow-up. “Now we are planning to purchase an electric rickshaw to bring and drop elderly patients living in three-km radius of the hospital for free,” Mr. Shoban Kumar said.

The general ward in the FHC with 10 beds and attached toilets for inpatients has been kept hygienically. It has telemedicine facility, making the services of specialist doctors available to the patients through video-conferencing. “Every week, we utilise the facility for the patients, especially tribal patients. On the 9th day of every month, the service of a gynaecologist is provided to the patients free of cost,” Dr. Dahar said.

Other facilities such as a drinking water plant with capacity to purify 500 litres of water in a minute, a generator to ensure 24- hour power supply, biomedical waste collection point, medical records room, conference hall with bamboo furniture, labour room , an air-conditioned vaccine storage room, tread mills, she toilet with napkin vending machine and incinerator, children's park and breast feeding rooms have been set up in the hospital.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 3:04:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/tribal-heartland-brings-patient-care-on-a-par-with-the-best/article24957606.ece

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