`Kotagiri hospital needs a facelift'

Special Correspondent

Not equipped to treat even accident cases

The hospital lacks life saving drugs and other infrastructurePatients have to be taken to Coimbatore, about 70 kilometres away, for special medical careSince it takes two and a half hours to reach Coimbatore, often accident victims die before getting medical attention

Udhagamandalam: The need to provide more facilities at the Government hospital in Kotagiri has been emphasised by the Porangadu Seemai Welfare Association, representing the Badagas in about 120 villages in and around Kotagiri.

Pointing out that due to the prolonged crisis in the tea industry, thousands of small tea growers, plantation labourers and those in related trades were finding it difficult to makes ends meet, the General Secretary of the Association, A.Kari Gowder, has in a memorandum sent to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister said that even for meeting their medical needs, they did not have facilities.

Thousands of people residing in eleven village panchayats and one town panchayat of Kotagiri area were dependent on the hospital. The hospital lacked facilities, life saving drugs and other infrastructure.

It was not equipped to treat even heart attack and accident victims. If a patient was in need of special medical care, he or she would have to be taken to Coimbatore about 70 kilometres away.

Since it took about two and a half hours to reach Coimbatore, often accident victims died before medical attention could be provided to them.

Regretting that the hospital lacked basic amenities, Mr.Gowder claimed that even the standard of sanitation was far from satisfactory. Since wild growth surrounded the hospital the patients and their relatives had to be constantly on guard against rodents and reptiles.