KOCHI: The Government hospital at Puthanvelikara in Ernakulam district which has been elevated to a taluk hospital a couple of years ago does not have enough doctors, staff and basic facilities. Though six doctors are on service, there is only one doctor on duty on Sundays. This is the only hospital in the rural area on which hundreds of patients depend.
Though the hospital has a civil surgeon, paediatrician, dentist and two general physicians, what has not been made available is the service of a gynaecologist, an important specialty. The hospital which was a community healthcare centre was upgraded to a taluk hospital in 2011. On average, 350 to 400 patients come to the Outpatient section every day.
"Though the hospital has necessary infra facilities, the shortage of doctors is the major issue. Despite being a taluk hospital, there is no 24-hour casualty service. The OP time is from 9 am to 1pm only. Local residents have been demanding the service of a full time casualty medical officer and a gynaecologist in the hospital. At present they have to depend on the taluk hospital at North Paravur or the private medical college at Chalakka in case of a medical emergency," said M.P Shajan, former panchayat member.
Meanwhile, hospital authorities told DC that five to six doctors were on duty every day except on Sunday. "On Sunday, there are only 100 to 150 patients in the OP and most of them come for repeat medicines. Normally doctors do not take leave on busy days, but they have to go for field visits and immunisation programmes," sources said. Officials added that the timing of the OP section was recently extended. OP consultation is now available from 2 to 5 pm, sources added.