Govt. to seek private participation in hospital expansion

KOTTAYAM JAN. 3. The Health Minister, P. Sankaran, today said that the Government was committed to take the Government medical colleges and medical college hospitals on a development and expansion mode with the active participation of the private sector.

The Minister was speaking on the occasion of the laying of foundation stones for the speciality Block and the cardio thoracic centre at the Kottayam Medical College Hospital, being undertaken as part of the 40th anniversary celebrations here today.

Allaying the fear expressed by certain quarters, Mr. Sankaran sought to differentiate between privatisation of the Government Medical College hospital and private sector participation in the development and expansion projects. Private sector participation was unavoidable, he said, adding that many of the projects had been pending for years for want of enough funds and private participation would also benefit the poorer sections dependent on the public health dispensation system.

According to him, a high-level meeting of those in the health and medical sectors, elected members, etc., were held at Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday and it was decided to move ahead with the private participation endeavour. As per the arrangement, the income from the medical colleges would be divided on a 50:50 basis between the private entrepreneur and the hospital management committee.

The experience so far, with private sector participation, had been rewarding, he pointed out. According to him, the alumni association at Trivandrum Medical College has spent more than a crore on development works, especially in the realm of developing the library. Adoption of wards was another area being opened to private sector, he said.

The Minister said what put the present government from its predecessors was the speed at which things were being implemented.

The proposed speciality block would house the urology, nephrology, cardiac surgery departments and part of the gynaecology department and also the library. The four-storeyed building will have two intensive care units and a 120 bed in-patient facility.

The proposed cardio thoracic centre is being planned as a centre of excellence in the line of the Sri Chitra Thirunal Medical Centre.

The Kerala University Vice Chancellor, B. Ekbal, Thomas Chazhikkadan and Oommen Chandy, MLAs, and hopital authorities were present on the occasion.

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