KARNATAKA

SJIC to set up 4 referral centres

BANGALORE APRIL 15. Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiology (SJIC), Bangalore, one of the biggest such hospitals in Asia, requires an additional 450 healthcare personnel and a sum of Rs. 8 crore a year to provide quality health services to patients, the SJIC Director, A.N. Prabhudeva, has said.

However, despite the shortage of staff and funds, the hospital was running smoothly, he told presspersons here today. He said the SJIC was celebrating "Institute Day" today to mark the first anniversary of new SJIC complex on Bannerghatta Road. The new complex, built at a cost of Rs. 43.15 crore, was inaugurated by the Chief Minister, S.M. Krishna, in April last year.

The 530-bed hospital had the departments of Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery under one roof. The new complex also had a 20-bed child heart care centre, where between 50 and 100 children were treated as out-patients daily. The hospital provided concessional treatment for all patients living below the poverty line and green ration-card holders. It also had research and teaching facilities, Dr. Prabhudeva said.

The Minister for Medical Education, A.B. Maalakaraddy, said the annual budgeted expenditure of the SJIC was Rs. 22 crore, of which the Government provided Rs. 4 crore. The rest was collected in the form of user fee. The minister released a manual on the achievements of the SJIC.

Appreciating the progress made by the SJIC during the past year, the minister said the hospital had treated over 1 lakh out-patients, 11,700 in-patients, conducted 6,000 cardiac catheterisation procedures, 4,300 coronary angiograms, 37,250 ECGs, 850 open-heart surgeries, and 250 surgeries to correct congenital heart defects. "In a short span of 12 months the SJIC has earned a reputation for itself as one of the best cardiac care centres in the country," he said.

Dr. Maalakaraddy said the SJIC was providing the best of services at rates that were cheaper when compared to other hospitals in the State.

Stating that in this year's budget it was proposed to set up four referral centres of the SJIC in Hubli-Dharwad, Shimoga, Madikeri, and Bijapur, the minister said these centres would be able to cater lakhs of patients for preliminary and advanced diagnostic procedures. The budget had allocated Rs. 3 crore for the purpose.

On the shortage of funds and staff at the SJIC, the minister said the Finance Department would be urged to allocate more money to the hospital.

However, he did not made any firm commitment on the recruitment of staff to fill vacancies.

The origin of the SJIC goes way back to 1972 when a philanthropist, late Ambali Channabasappa, made a donation to establish a heart care centre. The institute was officially inaugurated on April 9, 1984 by the former President, Giani Zail Singh.

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