Devi Shetty plans small town hospitals
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Kharagpur, Bolpur & Siliguri To Benefit
29 September 2011
Kolkata , India
The city is witnessing an ever increasing number of corporate hospitals. But the small towns of the state have never been favorites with corporate hospitals when it comes to setting up shop. Now, making a difference will be the Narayana Hrudalaya Group (NHG), which is coming up with hospitals in small towns like Bolpur, Kharagpur and Siliguri.
These multi–specialty hospitals could prove to be a boon for people in these towns who otherwise had to travel all way to the cities in the quest for quality health care. “Location for the Siliguri facility has been identified and hopefully the hospital in Kharagpur would be operational in a year’s time,” said Dr Devi Shetty on the sidelines of a national–level conference on Affordable Healthcare: Focus West Bengal organized in the city by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
In addition, NHG has also tied up with the West Bengal government on healthcare services on the PPP model. Six districts have been identified for implementing this model. Each of the six district hospitals will have a unit by NHG to enhance healthcare services.
“Units measuring 4,000 square feet each will come up near the district hospitals. Among other facilities these units will house cath labs, dialysis units and MRI CT scan units,” added the cardiac surgeon who heads the group.
Shetty also called for an umbrella organization with representation from all stakeholders in the healthcare sector. He feels that instead of numerous organizations, a single body federation will be more effective in lobbying for the sector.
“We have to have representatives from the government hospitals in such federation to earn the faith of the government,” said Shetty, narrating his failed attempt at lobbying with the government against service tax on healthcare services imposed about six years ago.
Minister of state for health Sudip Bandyopadhyay, who was present in the conference, admitted that all was not well with health services in the state. He complimented Mamata Banerjee for taking charge of the state health department.
“Which present chief minister has kept the health portfolio with himself or herself? Here Mamata Banejee has taken up this department directly under her wing. This shows her seriousness to improve the healthcare services in the state,” said Bandyopadhyay.
Healthcare in most districts of Bengal is pathetic to say the least and Devi Shetty’s initiative will go a long way in giving it a boost. For ages, people of these areas have been deprived of quality health services and have to rush to Kolkata in case of any major injury or ailment, often resulting in loss of life. More such private enterprises in healthcare is the need of the hour in the interiors of Bengal and the government should work towards inviting such endeavors.