KALPETTA: The lack of an advanced hospital facility in the government sector and shortage of personnel has been haunting the healthcare sector of the district for the last several decades. In emergency situations one has to rely on the Medical College Hospital, Kozhikode or any other private hospital in the district which charge heavily. In most of the government hospitals, though there were doctors, many were either on leave or absent due to other reasons, it was pointed out.
Recently a youngster who was admitted at the District Hospital, Mananthavadi with a leg fracture had to wait three days to know that the doctor would examine him only on the fifth day. He had to seek care in the private sector as his condition worsened, a hospital staffer said. The plight of tribals is worse as they cannot afford private hospitals. Though there are facilities and provisions for financial assistance, by the time the system gets activated, the condition of the patient worsens.
Noted physician Dr K Jithendranath, who has developed a unique telemedicine project to cater to distant tribal hamlets, told DC that on Sundays it was tough to get medical aid for tribals in the government sector. “Tribal used to say that on Sundays we should not be bitten by dogs and no diseases should strike as there would be no one who can attend to us,” he said. However experts as well as politicians are unanimous that the healthcare system in the district has to be improved.
Though the construction of the Medical College started, there was no significant progress. Sulthan Bathery MLA IC Balakrishnan told DC that there was not even a mention of the Medical College project in the budget. “In the last budget it was said that the fund would be availed from the Kerala Infrastructure Investme-nt Fund Board (KIIFB) project. Now the finance minister says there is no fund from KIIFB for the project”, he said.
In 2016, the district administration had taken measures to acquire land for the proposed health-care complex under the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST). Then district collector Kesavendrakumar had also directed the Mananthavady tahsildar to acquire 50 acres of land of Glen Level Estate at Thalapuzha, near Mananthavady, for the purpose. But there has been no progress since....