Floating hospital, constructed by the state government under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), serves as an immense fortune to locals.
The initiative of converting a vessel into a hospital has benefited the elderly living around Kochi backwaters, as it is difficult for them to visit hospitals located on the mainland.
AdvertisementDoctor Jace John told reporters on Wednesday that the boat is of great help to villagers, as they are poor, and many islands are so rural and remotely located, that except boats, there can be no other mode of transportation.
"The islands in the rural area are remotely located and no vehicle can reach there. Patients face difficulty as it is surrounded with water. The floating hospital is of great help to them," said John.
Nearly 20 small and big islands near Kochi and around 11 islands near Alleppey have benefited from the mobile hospital.
The hospital, set up on a motorboat, consists of a medical team comprising of one medical officer, a staff nurse and a pharmacist who visits the jetties every day as per the predefined schedule, which dispenses free medicine and checkups.
Apart from consultations, the hospital is equipped with facilities to conduct minor surgeries and dressings of wounds.
The service, which kicked off some two to three years ago is still running smoothly and facilitates over 1,00,000 villagers in Kochi and Alleppey.
Each floating hospital visits the surrounding islands and covers around four islands in a day.
An 80-year-old patient, Jonathan Johny said that the service is a blessing for all the villagers, especially the elderly.
" Earlier elder people like me were not able to go to hospital or there was no one to take us to hospital, but now it comes to our doorstep and is very much useful during the outbreak of Dengue in our villages," said Johny.
The mission aims to improve the availability and access to quality health care for people, especially poor women and children residing in rural areas.
According to the latest proposal, a similar hospital with ICU facilities, full fledged laboratory has been sanctioned recently for the Goshree Islanders and it is estimated to cost around Rs. 6.5 million.