S. Rajendran

State to seek help from Union Government for the project

To begin with, each hospital will have 500 beds

Bangalore has about 15 major hospitals in the government sector

Bangalore: The State Government will seek the support of the Union Government to establish four major hospitals on the outskirts of Bangalore to provide total healthcare to the economically weaker sections, particularly those living in villages and towns around the State capital.

While a policy decision to start the hospitals has been taken by Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and Minister for Medical Education Ramachandra Gowda, the Government is in the process of preparing a blueprint for the four hospitals.

Each hospital will have 500 beds to begin with and could be expanded to 1,000-bed hospitals at a later stage.

Bangalore has about 15 major hospitals in the government sector (including NIMHANS and speciality hospitals like Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiology, Kidwai Institute of Oncology, Institute of Nephro-Urology, Rajiv Gandhi Chest Hospital , T.B. Sanatorium, Epidemic Diseases Hospital) and put together they have nearly 6,000 beds.

These hospitals also treat over 25,000 out-patients every day. But the patient inflow (those who cannot afford to go to nursing homes and corporate hospitals) has been estimated at nearly 50,000 (including outpatients).

Interestingly, a large share of the patients seeking admission to hospitals in Bangalore are those referred by district hospitals.

For below the poverty line patients, treatment is free while for most others the bed charge is Rs. 10, and the diet provided by the Government to a patient costs nearly Rs. 30 a day.

Likely locations

Mr. Ramachandra Gowda told The Hindu that the new hospitals were likely to be located on Mysore Road, Bellary Road, Bannerghatta Road and Old Madras Road, and they would be well equipped. “Bangalore has enough corporate hospitals to serve the rich. Our aim is to provide total healthcare to the people. However, even patients above the poverty line and the middle class can come for treatment by paying a fee,” he pointed out.

The departments of Health and Medical Education will prepare a comprehensive report on the requirements at the new hospitals following which the Chief Minister will call for a high level meeting to finalise the location.

Director and Dean of the Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, G.T. Subhas, said Bangalore needed more hospitals to serve poor patients, which will reduce the pressure on the existing government hospitals like Victoria and Bowring and Lady Curzon.

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