Velacheri people want UPHC services back

Chennai: Velacheri has over 3 lakh population, and the residents here want the services of Urban Primary Health Centre (UPHC) located at Gandhi Salai to be revived.

According to residents, the centre was built in 1992, and it was a well-equipped 50-bedded facility. It was famous for its maternity ward, but after 2016, services were withdrawn gradually.

President of Annai Indira Nagar Residents’ Welfare Association, S Kumararaja says, “From 2017 onwards, they began shifting the equipment of the hospital to an UPHC in Adyar. Only a few medical tests, such as blood and culture tests, are done here now. It is functioning like a clinic and is open only at specified hours.”

He also informs that the UPHC is being run by a single doctor, a nurse and a compounder. Although it is said that the doctor is available until 4 pm, when News Today reporter visited the place at 3.45 pm, the facility was locked with no one in sight.

“As per Corporation rules, one zone requires only one hospital, and so they are focusing on the UPHC located at Telephone Exchange in Adyar.” says a source, who didn’t want to be named.

Even now in the evenings, one can see women queue up for pregnancy tests and check-ups. “The doctor gives a card and refers them to the UPHC in Saidapet or Adyar so that they can avail the Government scheme and access the funds,” the source adds.

Sabari, whose child was born in the hospital, says that the facility was of great help to the residents until a few years ago. It was well known for its maternity ward and helpful in giving vaccines to new borns here. Residents want an answer as to why such a well-built infrastructure is being made to function in such a way.

Even in February, at a grievance meeting conducted by the Greater Chennai Corporation, the locals demanded that the facility be run full-fledged to benefit those living here.

They claim that there was no harm in running the hospital since infrastructure was already available. People here also want the 18P bus service that used to ply through the hospital to be resumed.

Naomi N