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The ailing case of the Pattukottai GH

Irshad Ahamed

Thanjavur: The 96-year-old government hospital in Pattukottai is ailing from multiple diseases – lack of infrastructure, dedicated staff and many other things – and it needs immediate surgical intervention by the authorities to restore it to normal life.

Poor people, particularly fishermen, hailing from over 300 hamlets belonging to three different districts – Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Pudukottai – visit the GH for treatment. Those injured in accidents on East Coast Road (ECR) running through the area are also rushed here. The injured, however, are immediately referred to Thanjavur Medical College Hospital (TMCH) which is 58 kms away. Majority of the accident victims die on the way to TMCH due to the apathy of the doctors at Pattukottai GH.

The GH lacks many things but the attitude of employees is the worst. Hospital workers ask patients to procure medicines, cotton, bottles, syringes, gloves, etc. from outside, alleges R C Palanivel, executive member, CPI (M).

Clogged toilets, patients waiting hours for doctor, absconding nurses, poorly stored medicines, unclean wards and torn beds are permanent features of this GH, he said.

The only solace in the GH is the excellent functioning of Comprehensive Emergency Obstetric and Neonatal Care (CEMONC) Centre despite lack of adequate doctors and nurses.

“The GH, at present, has only 34 staff against the original strength of 79 persons (25 doctors, 30 nurses, 14 nursing assistants and 10 sanitary workers). The 25 doctors are present only on records. Some of them are either absent or on long leave but busy working in their private clinics in neighbouring areas,” alleges V Veerasenan, an activist from Pattukottai.

Dr I S Jayasekar, Joint Director of Medical Services, however, said that measures were now being taken to set things right. Plans are afoot to construct a modern kitchen at a cost of Rs 40 lakh and an outpatients ward at a cost of Rs 40 lakh from the local area development funds of MP and MLA. Two dialysis machines would be available soon for the benefit of kidney failure patients, he said.

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