May 31, 2017
The Public Health Centre (PHC) in Tirumalayampalayam village is the only government facility for people in the remote areas of Pichanur, Kumuttipathi and Puthupathi around Madukkarai.
Though top-notch in infrastructure and hygiene, the 15-year-old PHC, people complain, is poorly-staffed.
While the rules is that there are to be two medical officers (doctors), locals say there is just one doctor who is present only for two hours daily between 12.30 pm and 2.30 pm.
They also have grievance about the medicines given. R Lakshmi (55) told The Covai Post: “When I went there for treatment of a pain in my leg, I was given paracetamol, the same medicine given when I had fever.” She adds that there asthma, quite common among the people in her village, is not treated as there are no facilities. Even a checkup for blood pressure is done on just two days – Monday and Tuesday.
Another resident S. Muniamma recalls how her daughter was sent to the Coimbatore Government Hospital during delivery time. “The deliveries of three of my grandchildren were at the General Hospital because of lack of proper care and treatment at the maternity ward of the PHC. When the public protested against this, they were prohibited from entering the PHC ” she says.
She also accuses the doctor of taking up private practice in her own clinic outside and alleges that she visits the PHC only for just two hours. Her husband S Shanmugham adds that the doctor does not give injections claiming that medicines are not available at the PHC forcing people to go to the distant GH.
But the Medical Officer Dr AK Alagu Rajalakshmi , when contacted by The Covai Post, denies these charges. “There is 24-hour service for delivery. We have monthly uterus and breast cancer checkups for women. We also have followups on HIV positive patients and provide them with awareness programmes. With funds from the Patient Welfare Society, we provide food for pregnant mothers every Tuesday. We have around 150 outpatients daily and 30 inpatients a month. There are on an average four to five deliveries a month,” she says.