Role model Govt primary health centre
Government Primary Hospital (Health Centre), situated in Seruvaviduthi which is about 11 km.from Peravoorani, Thanjavur is considered to be the ideal hospital, thanks to the dedicated efforts of the Chief Medical Officer, Dr.Soundarrajan.
The peripheral facilities and the environment around this hospital are so green, pure and sophisticated in all respects. Akin to that of a corporate medical center, the entire building is free from any unpleasant smell and appearance.
Since the inception in the year 1968, this center was also like any other center. However, now it houses exclusive operation theatre, delivery wards, family planning, eradication of poison-affected issues, Siddha medicine, in-and out-patient wards, mega-size generator etc.
There is a proverb – ‘It is a writing on the wall’. The same applies to this hospital, rather literally. It showcases all pertinent details like availability of different departments, doctors, facilities etc. which will arrest one’s attention when one enters the hospital. The sense of hospitality is rich in this hospital. People show their hands voluntarily at Dr.Soundararajan for being instrumental for everything.
Dr.Soundararajan’s manner of treating the patients is unique. The real concern he shows does comfort the patients irrespective of age or gender. When a 70-year old woman complains of chronic pain down her waist without being specific, he listens to her as if he hears from his mother and says it is because of wear and tear over the years and the medicines he gives would cure her.
Simultaneously, he goes for rounds to inspect how the general maintenance of the wards is because he is of the firm view that proper surroundings, free from dirt, dust and bad odor are one of the pre-requisites.
Dr.Soundararajan has been in-charge of this health center since 1992. As he himself hails from a village, he is able to understand and appreciate the pulse of the poor people better. Accordingly, he has earmarked every Tuesday, exclusively for creating awareness of the importance of nutritious diet to be taken by the pregnant mothers. He advises them on what impact it would cause in case they fail to observe these precautions.
Dr.Soundararajan thought of introducing the provision of a nutritious diet to all pregnant mothers every Thursday from 2007 and it is still on. In fact, he is the pioneer in this endeavor following which the Tamil Nadu Government has replicated the same model in all other health centers.
Another innovative practice that has been implemented by Dr.Soundararajan is conducting ‘Valaikappu function’ for the expectant mothers. This will remove the fear of delivery and would also help the baby in the womb to grow healthily.
At one time, Dr.Soundararajan wanted to conduct a mega event and accordingly, organized a marriage hall for accommodating 700 pregnant mothers at the same time and conduct the ‘valakappu’ function wherein the Government officials, political persons, NGO teams etc. participated and made the function a grand success. This has also now become a Government program in other places.
It is further observed that nearly 20 to 30 deliveries happen every month and at the same time this month, they have done 18 family planning operations to their credit. Above all, this hospital center has been awarded ISO certificate and has also bagged the District Collector award, thanks to the generous donors and working colleagues of Dr.Soundararajan.
There is a space of 5 acres in and around the center where they are planning to grow vegetables, rear some cows in order to distribute the cows’ milk to the pregnant mothers and arrange for a small playground and park for the benefit of the children. In gratitude, they create permanent structures with the donors’ names sculpted on the same for the public to know.
People openly share that this hospital is as neat and tidy as that of any modern private hospital and are fully satisfied with the facilities that are provided in this center.
Where there is a will there is a way! Dr.Soundararajan has not merely suggested changes but also implemented the same in reality as a ‘change agent’. There are innumerable health centers like this in our State and if others also follow suit, it will be a great boon to the poor people.
(This article written in Tamil by Gunaseelan has been reproduced in English by P S Ramamurthy)