Upgrade Kottathara tribal hospital, says KGMOA

‘Convert it into a taluk hospital with 100 beds and more facilities’

December 06, 2021 09:04 pm | Updated 09:04 pm IST - Thiruvananthapuram

The Kerala Government Medical Officers’ Association (KGMOA) has written to the government that the Kottathara Government Tribal Specialty Hospital (GTSH) be upgraded as a taluk hospital with 100 beds and sufficient posts created so that its functioning can be improved.

In a detailed letter to the government, the KGMOA has pointed out that since the maximum referral from the Kottathara GTSH was for ultrasound/CT scans for pregnant women, the posting of three Radiology PG doctors at the hospital can provide radio diagnostic services round the clock.

Early diagnosis

Early diagnosis of any anomalies through scanning can reduce neonatal and maternal deaths. This is important as tribal women are generally reluctant to leave Attappady for other hospitals, KGMOA said.

It said that at present, there is only a single junior consultant post each in many key departments at the hospital, including gynaecology, paediatrics, surgery and medicine and that these doctors were working overtime to provide round-the-clock services. All specialities should have additional posts created if the hospital is to provide quality care.

All doctors working on deputation/special arrangement or as part of redeployment, should be given special allowance.

‘Need more doctors’

While more doctors, nurses and support staff are necessary to improve the delivery of care at the hospital, the government should enter into a tie-up with the nearest tertiary care hospital, and engage tribal promoters there so that referral patients can be managed here during emergencies

The KGMOA pointed out that rather than blame the doctors and staff in the hospital for infant/maternal deaths, it is high time the government conducted serious studies on why this population has so many vulnerabilities.

If years of welfare measures and tribal upliftment plans have not worked towards improving the lot of tribespeople, it is because the government has been finding superficial solutions, not studying in-depth, the actual needs and living environment of the tribal population, KGMOA said.

Experts’ panel

It suggested that the government set up a panel of experts and representatives from the tribes to probe into the actual issues plaguing them. Unless the socio-economic situation in Attappady improves and special attention is paid to de-addiction services for the tribespeople, a generation of healthy mothers and children would be a distant dream for Attappady.

Ambulances with ventilator facility are essential for transporting patients in critical condition. Improving lab facilities and creating proper living quarters for doctors are essential.

Another important suggestion given by the KGMOA is that the government insist on compulsory bonded service for PG doctors and nurses at Attappady. PG/DNB State service quota should have special reservation for doctors who are willing to serve in Attappady.

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