Special Correspondent

GULBARGA: Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee here on Saturday laid the foundation stone for the Rs. 900-crore Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) Super-Speciality Hospital, which will have a bed strength of 500 and a medical education complex where colleges of medicine, dentistry and nursing will be set up. The complex will be spread over 30.4 acres of land and will be inside the Gulbarga University campus.

Speaking on the occasion, he said medical education and allied services were some of the most important areas that needed attention not only for quantitative growth but also qualitative growth. Despite the significant growth and expansion in medical institutions in recent years, there was a greater need for doctors and paramedical staff.

He said the establishment of the medical, dental and nursing colleges would help reduce the shortage of doctors and paramedical staff.

Medical Education Minister Ramachandra Gowda, who participated in the function on behalf of Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, said that although the State had 39 medical colleges and two dental colleges, there was a need for more such institutions. Mr. Yeddyurappa cancelled his visit to Gulbarga at the last minute citing ill health.