Private speciality wings defended

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM June 26. The Health Minister, P. Sankaran, has made a strong pitch for allowing private entrepreneurs to start super speciality wings in medical colleges in the State.

Responding to a calling attention motion by Mathai Chacko (CPI-M), the Health Minister said the return on investment in super speciality equipment was so heavy that the Government could not even think of it. The Health Department could not install such costly equipment in all hospitals given its poor finances. The only option before it was to allow private groups to install such equipment for a reasonable return on investment, he said.

The Minister assured the House that this would not result in space in hospitals being assigned to such entrepreneurs. The Government was prepared to hold a dialogue with the Opposition to allay their misgivings in this regard, he added.

Dairy crisis: The Agriculture Minister, K.R. Gouri said in response to a calling attention motion by P.J. Joy (Cong-I) that the Government was examining whether a cess could be imposed on milk being brought from outside the State. She also assured the member that the agreement with Mother Dairy for marketing of milk products could be terminated if either of the parties felt so.

She said the Government was taking steps to make more cattle feed available at reasonable prices in the State. There was, for instance, a proposal to procure straw from Tamil Nadu and transport it to the State. The Government was also taking up cultivation of fodder grass as a special programme. The price of feed being produced by the factories in the State was also being kept low despite the rise in the input costs, she said.

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