Patronage of K K Nagar rehab institute dwindles due to lack of awareness

Chennai: Much known for developing ‘Madras foot’, the Government Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, K K Nagar, is now in abeyance due to lack of awareness.

A visit to the hospital on a weekday showed a ‘deserted’ look and on another day, around 50 patients were seen visiting.

Activists and experts in the city opine that the footfall is dwindling with every passing day. Speaking about it, Tamilnadu Udavikkaram Association for the Welfare of Differently-Abled state president, T A P Varadakutti, said, “The number of patients is not as high as a few years ago and the reason can be attributed to lack of knowledge about the facility.”

When News Today reached out to differently-abled people and activists in the city, it is learnt that there has not been enough knowledge about the existence of the state-of-the-art hospital for treatment. It should also be noted that the facility grants disability certification for availing government services.

“There are only about 11 doctors now, however, earlier there were about 80 staff,” said a source. The source credits the neglected state to lack of fund allocation by the State government. “Owing to the lack of public patronage and poor financial aid, the hospital will soon be closed,” he added.

Patients at Government Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, K K Nagar

“The treatment is good at the hospital and the patients are also immediately checked as the crowd is less. However, if the patient is not accompanied by an attendant, s/he will be sent back,” said a patient taking treatment for seizures.

However, the hospital Director, Dr C Ramesh, has a different story to tell. “There are enough staff and we get about 100 out-patients per day. There are state-of-the-art equipment to rehabilitate differently-abled patients. State Minister for Health and Family Welfare, C Vijaya Bhaskar, also recently inaugurated gait lab for studying locomotion problems.”

The hospital also has a bus to provide driving training to specially-abled people. When the reporter visited the hospital, the vehicle was spanking new but was used to store some cardboard boxes. The label on the bus stated that it was refurnished between 2016-2017

“The institute was severely affected during the 2015 floods and the vehicle was also replaced. The number of people getting trained depends on the patients we receive,” stated the Director. To raise any grievances about irregularities in the hospital, a complaint box has been provided on its premises in the rehabilitation wing.

WHAT IS MADRAS FOOT?
┬áThe doctors and students of the hospital developed ‘Madras Foot’ to incorporate toe ring (metti) if a married woman is using the prosthetics. The model was later patented as ‘Jaipur Foot.’

 

FACILITIES AVAILABLE
* Physiotherapy
* Ayurveda/Siddha treatment
* Artificial limb centre
* Gait Lab
* Physio gym
* Special clinic for cerebral palsy
* Diagnostic rehabilitation equipment

 

 

Bhavani Prabhakar