Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala opposition on Monday alleged there was a severe shortage of doctors and medicines in the state which is in the throes of various types of fever.
Opposition legislator P Thilothaman said in the Assembly: "Even Chief Minister Oommen Chandy is hospitalised and still the government and the health department is idle."
"By now Alappuzha district has witnessed various fever cases, including H1N1, rat fever, malaria, chikungunya and what not. Thousands are admitted in various hospitals in Alappuzha district alone and there is a severe shortage of doctors and medicines," said Thilothaman.
Health Minister Adoor Prakash, however, said unlike the previous Left government`s five year tenure, the incidence of fever was much less this time.
"Last year this time there were 1,428 cases of H1N1, while this year there are just 78 cases. We have made elaborate arrangements for cleaning and sanitation in each and every ward of the state and Rs 10,000 each has been sanctioned for it," said Prakash.
Prakash also accused the previous Left government of not recruiting doctors.
"New doctors cannot be appointed because even though 2,514 posts had to be created, you created a mere 202 posts and left. Then why are you blaming this government? At present the total number of doctor`s vacancy that is to be filled up is 745. We have given instructions to all 14 district medical officers to conduct walk-in interviews to appoint doctors," said Prakash.
Leader of Opposition VS Achuthanandan said: "The reply of the health minister is rather shoddy and it appears he has not understood the seriousness of the issue. Hence we have no other way than to stage a walk out on this issue."
Chandy`s office announced that he would be present in the assembly and participate in the voting to take place at the end of the day on a bill not related to the health issue.
Despite being ill, Chandy is expected to come and vote because his government has a wafer thin majority in the assembly with just 73 legislators, including the speaker, while the Left opposition has 68 members.