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Updated: August 20, 2011 04:22 IST

What the new hospital and college mean for Chennai

Ramya Kannan
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‘There is an absolute need for such a specialised care centre in the city'

The demand for an AIIMS-class medical institution here has been articulated loudly for years. The Chief Minister's announcement in the Assembly on Friday comes as an answer to the prayer of many years.

Since the statement on the floor of the House, the buzz in Chennai has been in favour of the move to construct a multi-specialty medical unit in the heart of the city, with easy access to the Central railway station. “There is an absolute need for such a specialised care centre in the city,” says P. Padmanabhan, adviser, National Health Systems Resource Centre, who was formerly Director of Public Health in Tamil Nadu.

“With the increasing incidence of non-communicable diseases, and increasing life expectancy, many more people are going to need the services of such a super specialty hospital to take care of complications arising from NCDs. Again, with more health insurance schemes to benefit a cross section of income groups, more people will tend to use the specialised facilities than ever before,” Dr. Padmanabhan adds.

On the lower side, it is estimated that the number of beds in multi-specialty hospitals in the private sector in Chennai could be in the range of 5,000 beds, while in the public sector it is over 6,000 beds. The demand, however, is far higher and is constantly growing, city-based doctors stress.

“Chennai certainly needs more beds. At any given point of time, all the hospital [multi and super specialty hospitals] beds are full. Shortage of beds is what we are constantly grappling with,” says Apollo Hospitals MD Preetha Reddy. She articulates her belief that it is a great idea to utilise the vast space available with the government in the heart of the city for something that would benefit a large number of patients.

K.M. Cherian, founder, Frontier LifeLine Hospitals, says this is a welcome move, especially at a time when Chennai has begun attracting persons from other nations seeking health care. “The government must take care to spend sufficiently to equip itself for a multi-specialty hospital of world-class standards with good infection control to ensure world class outcomes,” he adds. Perhaps, the government could draw inspiration from similar centres in the private health care domain.

The addition of a medical college on the premises (in Block B) spread over 7.8 lakh square feet will create more seats and go a long way in resolving the human resource crisis in the medical sector in the country, adds Dr. Cherian, who himself began his medical education in a government medical college.

MIOT Hospital's founder P.V.A. Mohandas says that the idea to re-covert a building lying idle into a hospital is ‘fantastic.' It is the best way now to utilise the building once conceived of as a Secretariat complex. The bed crunch that the city is facing necessitates the addition of more and more quality health care establishments to take care of patients. The new hospital would reduce the rather serious bed crunch scenario in the city, which is a hub for patients from all over the country and the world. The re-designing, he suggests, will have to be done by a combined team of doctors, hospital administrators, architects, and contractors.

All the four govt. hospitals are located to close proximity serving the underproviledged. It is important such govt. hospital is built to serve such population near velachery area. hence govt. should stop the idea f coverting new secretariat bldg.into aspeciality hospital for the present.

from:  C K Pandarinathan
Posted on: Nov 2, 2011 at 12:08 IST

You have forgot to mention Christian Medical College with nearly 2500
beds in the picture in this article...

from:  Benny
Posted on: Aug 23, 2011 at 08:43 IST

This is really Silly to convert a public office to a hospital and medical college.ther are worldwide standards in how a op should be or the location of a sterile operation theatre should be,how a medical college classroom or anatomy dissection hall should the complex could be incomplete as the present govt claims....but it sure is not designed for a hospital or class room or ward.they will be spending extra expenditure to alter something to something it will never turn out to be.converting it into a mall or cineplex or even a museum will make sense as it's only an act of convenience.this is only the initial expenditure.after an MCI inspection of the altered building the structure will defenitly be rejected.

from:  Dr Murugananth
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 18:42 IST

The original purpose of the building is not for providing Health care services, the construction parameters are different for such buildings. Modern day hospitals build from scratch have various built-in facilities and to convert this building to hospital will cost a lot more. People who think Hospitals are just brick and mortar building just like any other will not understand this.

from:  Venkat
Posted on: Aug 22, 2011 at 09:29 IST

Another 1000 crores spending for the conversion.... Who dares to ask the govt...sad ending to a marvelous architecture..sure the architects will be sad too.

from:  Arul
Posted on: Aug 21, 2011 at 22:26 IST

It means more congestion, more nuisance and more rubbish. Looks like just to satisfy her ego she will unwind everything and start afresh which again means nothing of her mega projects would be completed before her term ends and once again we will watching like fools without anything, no new legislature, no hopital, no metro rail and no mono rail. A judicial review is a must, every bit of this case should be reviewed thoroughly and only after it is clearly established that this building can never be used as legislature permission should be granted for conversion. Otherwise it means the next government will do the same thing and its people of TN who are going to suffer. The resolution of one government should not be altered by another just by majority but with legal backing. This farce of majority must be stopped.

from:  xavier surender
Posted on: Aug 21, 2011 at 15:03 IST

I agree with the decesion. But will the place be capable of accommodating volume of patients and visitors. Hospital building construction is completely different from normal building construction. How they do patient transfer and biological waste. Instead of converting this building to Hospital I would rather request her to build a unique hospital with world class standard. what she did is to avoid future government to change that building to a legistative house. Its personal revenage rather than productive measure. I worked in a hospital I know how the design is different from normal building construction.

from:  Siva
Posted on: Aug 21, 2011 at 09:15 IST

Eventhough it sounds more socilaist idea it is the most foolish things to do. A government hospital and a medical college in a building which has already utilised 1200 crores. Still another 500 crores may be needed if you want to give quality care. For 1700 crores you can build 17 medical colleges in various parts of tamilnadu which can admit 2550 students. Moreover for a low income country like us we need medical colleges in the backward area of Tamil Nadu rather than in the hub of the city. Any sensible person will mot spend such a huge money for a single government medical college.Since it is going to be a government hospital with its own limitations will become a dirty and filthy building within a couple of years. Long live the political vendettta which exists in Tamilnadu.

from:  R.Manivarmane
Posted on: Aug 20, 2011 at 17:48 IST

A healthy move to convert the State Legislative Assembly building into a hospital. The architects of the building must be heartbroken and they will be the first one to seek admission to the 'proposed' super specialty hospital. The requirements of State Assembly building and the hospital building are very different. The will be another 1000 crore will be spent on conversion.
I do feel the same for Chennai metro rail into mono rail. With mono rail, Chennai will be far behind from Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Calcutta and Hydrabad. However, I welcome our Chief Minister's aerial tour to survey the cleanliness of Chennai and its suburbs and the subsequent order to the authorities concerned for the mass cleaning operation. I request one more aerial survey after three months to see whether CM's orders were implemented. Our CM has the talent and potential to be the number one well ahead of Mamta and Narinder Modi.

from:  V.Rajagopal
Posted on: Aug 20, 2011 at 15:44 IST

This women seems to be the magic wand of the Tamil People, Health care system with insurance to all will be a blessing. Tamil people blessed her with the decisive mandate they gave her on the election, Its time she pays them back in style and class.

from:  Ahmed
Posted on: Aug 20, 2011 at 08:30 IST
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