The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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IIT to build a hospital

Kharagpur, March 21: IIT Kharagpur has decided to set up a super-speciality hospital close to its campus, with plans to develop it into a full-fledged medical college.

The 400-bed hospital will be coming up at Hijli, about 125 km from Calcutta, and will cost Rs 500 crore. It has been given the go-ahead by the HRD ministry and is scheduled to open its doors by 2008.

“It will be an international standard hospital with state-of-the-art technological facilities. Our target is to have it functioning by 2008 and we hope to start the medical college by 2009,” IIT Kharagpur director Sisir Kumar Dube said.

A 300-acre plot owned by the institute has been earmarked for the project, he said. A committee with members from the institute’s departments will soon be set up to get the project going.

“We expect funds from the HRD ministry, the Union government’s department of biotechnology and IIT Kharagpur’s alumni spread across the country and abroad. We have also decided to mobilise a part of the funds ourselves,” Dube said.

The idea to set up such a hospital germinated from the needs of the institute’s School of Medical Science and Technology (SMST), where students are taught all about medical instruments and allowed to do research on developing low-cost equipment.

An IIT official said SMST was set up to ensure that huge sums of money were not spent on importing medical equipment. In the process of running the school, the lack of a hospital was felt.

“While going ahead with SMST, we realised that in the interest of research and development, we need a full-fledged hospital with modern infrastructure,” SMST head of department P.P. Chakraborty said.

The proposed hospital would try to bring together expertise in several fields under one roof, an official said. Emphasis would be on robot surgery, telesurgery, rehabilitation surgery, telemedicine, preventive medicine, cardiology, radiology and oncology.

“There are hospitals dedicated to treatment of heart, kidney, cancer, eye or neurological disorders. But we want to build up super speciality in a large number of areas. We want to emerge as out of the ordinary,” Chakraborty said.

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