Patna, Dec. 16: Come 2013, the health department would have a policy in place to woo private investors to the state for setting up multi-speciality hospitals.
Vyasji, the principal secretary of the health department, told The Telegraph: “The policy would guarantee certain facilities to the private players so that they could start multi-speciality hospitals here easily. They would have to provide treatment to people below poverty line (BPL) at a low price in return.”
The decision of the health department assumes significance because the state does not have a single multi-speciality hospital. Thousands have to go to Delhi, Bangalore, Lucknow, Mumbai and other places for quality treatment.
“We want to help the private players in the health sector in opening multi-speciality hospitals in the state. The policy would ensure they get land at subsidised rates. We are also thinking of giving them certain tax exemptions. But the private players would have to provide treatment to BPL families at a low cost. Only those who fulfil this condition would be provided help,” Vyasji said, adding that the policy would be ready next year.
He said the health department had entrusted Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Bihar Industries Association (BIA) and Bihar Chamber of Commerce and Industries (BCCI) for formulating the policy. “We have asked them to ascertain if any other state has any policy for attracting private players in the health sector. How far have they achieved in providing quality healthcare to a large chunk of population in the states having such a policy and what is the working procedure of the multi-speciality hospitals there? They have to look after all these points while formulating the policy,” said Vyasji.
“We can’t allow private sectors to come with a mindset of only making profit. If they set up multi-speciality hospitals here, they will have to provide treatment to the poor at an economical rate. Our focus will be on providing quality treatment to a large section of people in our state. The facilities should not be confined to the upper class people only,” said Vyasji.
The medical fraternity of Patna are sceptical about the health department’s move, though. Dr Ajay Kumar, the general secretary of Bihar Health Services Association (BHSA) said its decision to attract private players in the health sector is not appreciable at a time when it failed to provide the basic facilities at the government hospitals.
Dr Ranjit Kumar, the secretary of the BHSA, echoed Kumar. “How can the state government think of helping private players to set up multi-speciality hospitals when its health hubs do not have the basic infrastructure? Around 70 per cent population of the state depends on the government hospitals,” he said.
Dr Arun Thakur, the president of the Bihar chapter of Indian Medical Association, said: “The state government should first provide the basic facilities to the government hospitals in the state. As far as I know, private hospitals in the other states have not been of much help to the masses.”
Eminent surgeon Dr A.A. Hai expressed his doubts over the success of multi-speciality hospitals set up only by the private players. “They would serve the purpose only if they are set up in public private partnership (PPP) model,” he said.
Vyasji said his department had plans to set up a multi-speciality hospital under the PPP mode. “We have decided to develop Jai Prabha Hospital as a multi-speciality facility under the PPP mode but it will take time,” said Vyasji.
Health policy next year
Health department has entrusted Confederation of Indian Industry, Bihar Industries Association and Bihar Chamber of Commerce and
Industries for formulating the policy
Woo health sector investors to build multi-speciality hospital in state
Private players getting subsidised land and tax exemption would have to provide treatment to BPL people at a low cost