AIADMK MLA from Orathanadu, R Vaithilingam set the tone for the heated exchange by stating in the House on Thursday that the Amma Clinics were the saving grace for people who lived in places without transport facilities.
People suffering snake bites and other medical emergencies get first aid in the Amma Clinics before being rushed to a referral hospital and hence their closure would affect the people a great deal, said Vaithilingam, participating in the debate on the motion to thanks to the Governor for his address in the state Assembly.
‘Clinics functioned from toilets & graveyard’
Intervening, state Health Minister Ma Subramanian said the previous AIADMK regime had established 2,000 Amma Clinics and appointed only 1,820 doctors for the same. Remarking that some clinics were functioning from toilet space, the Health Minister said the clinic in Saidapet was in a graveyard and another in Virugambakkam functioned from a place meant for performing rites for the deceased). Justifying the closure, Subramanian read out a portion of the GO issued by the previous regime saying, “Scheme initially sanctioned for a period of one year. Based on the need and performance, a decision for further continuance will be taken.”
“You had designed the scheme for only one year,” the Minister said.