The Government Veterinary Dispensary in Srirangam is facing severe shortage of staff, complain farmers.Recently, the dispensary remained closed for days as the doctor in-charge was deputed to carry out a vaccination drive. Farmers and pet owners with ailing animals in tow waited outside the hospital for hours before returning home disappointed.
The farmers complained that they were not informed about the veterinarian’s absence. “My cow has been suffering from pain in her udders for the last few days. She is also unable to walk. To get her tested, I had walked an hour to bring her to the hospital only to find it locked today morning.
She is in a lot of pain and I do not know what to do,” said M. Bhaskar, a milk vendor who depends on his cow for a living. On Monday, four cowherds and two dog owners were seen waiting for the doctor until noon. “A board outside the hospital has been put up stating that the doctor would not be here until 11 a.m. as she has gone for a medical camp. However, it is past 12 p..m and she still has not turned up,” Mr. Bhaskar said.
The board stated that the doctor was to travel to areas in Andanallur to vaccinate cattle for foot and mouth disease. “Just as monsoon brings with it seasonal flu for humans, cattle are susceptible to foot and mouth disease. To prevent it, the 17th vaccination drive was organised. However the vaccination drive takes longer to complete,” said D. Vanitha, veterinarian in-charge at the dispensary. “If I do not come to the hospital, it will be shut, there are no assistants or alternatives.
I have to rush back to the clinic after the drive to tend to some animals which would be waiting for my arrival,” she said. Esther Sheela, Joint Director, Department of Animal Husbandry said that they are looking to appoint more veterinarians. “Number of vets in private setups are far higher. We need more hands to help and will be appointing some soon,” she added.