Monday, October 26, 2009

Port Trust Hospitals dying: staff unions

Published Date: 23/Oct/2009
G Saravanan

Chennai, October 22: MEMBERS of trade unions in Chennai Port Trust have alleged that the three trust-run hospitals are dying a slow death due to official negligence.

The apathy has led to poor patronage from dock workers. Workers say the main hospital located inside the port premises and two outpatient units with dispensaries, at Rajaji Salai (diabetes centre) and inside Tondiarpet Housing Colony, are understaffed and have been facing shortage of medicines for the last several months.

D Purushothaman, general secretary of the Transport and Dock Workers’ Union, says, “These three hospitals, which once catered to more than 20,000 working and retired port trust employees, are now in a bad shape due to official negligence... The main hospital, which was set up to cater thousands of workers, has only one ambulance.” One of the main grouse of workers is the non-availability of scanners in the main hospital. It forces them to spend money in private hospitals for diagnosis.

A worker says the trust has a clandestine arrangement with three private pharmacy shops located at Royapuram, Mannadi and Broadway. “Most of the time when doctors prescribe medicines, they are not available at the dispensaries and outpatients are forced to visit these shops to get the medicines,” he alleges.

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