Health services in the state are set to get a shot in the arm with Medanta, one of the largest care providers in the country, padding up to open a hospital in the city.
Medanta — The Medicity is one of the largest super-speciality hospitals in the country. It is situated in Gurgaon. Now, it is planning to open a hospital in Patna.
The government would provide five acres to it on the campus of Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS) and the health hub would operate on public-private partnership (PPP) mode.
Dr Naresh Trehan, the founder of Medanta Hospital, met chief minister Nitish Kumar in the last week of July and agreed in principle to open a hospital in PPP mode in Patna.
Principal secretary, health, Vyasji is scheduled to meet Trehan on August 21 to talk about the finer points of the plan. IGIMS director Arun Kumar might accompany Vyasji on the visit. While Trehan was unavailable for comment, IGIMS director Arun said he had not received any communication from the health department in this regard.
Vyasji, however, told The Telegraph that he would meet Trehan on August 21. “We would provide land to Medanta on the IGIMS campus. They would establish a hospital in the PPP mode. It would provide treatment to heart, liver and kidney ailments.”
He added that the proposed health hub would provide treatment to poor patients as well. “It would provide 25 per cent discount to people below the poverty line. Of the charges, they would have to pay another 25 per cent according to the rates of All India Institute of Medical Sciences, which is less than the market rate.”
Explaining how the health hub would be developed, a source said Medanta would first open a heart hospital in one of the buildings of the IGIMS. Later, after the new hospital building is complete, it would provide treatment for heart, kidney and liver ailments.
A source in the health department said Medanta coming to the state was a big boost for the government because it had failed to attract private players. In 2011, the government had provided land to Apollo Hospital in Bihta, around 40km southwest of Patna. But Apollo gave back the land citing law and order problem.
The decision of the state government to provide land to Medanta on the IGIMS campus has got mixed reactions from doctors. Ophthalmologist Sunil Kumar Singh, who is also the vice-president of the JD(U) medical cell, said: “If Medanta opens a hospital in the state, people will not have to go to other cities to get specialised treatment.”
The state branch of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), however, is opposed to the move. Rajiv Ranjan Prasad, president, IMA, Bihar, said: “The decision of the government to provide land to Medanta on the IGIMS campus will hamper the growth of the IGIMS. Why can’t the government develop facilities at the IGIMS instead? The corporatisation of the health sector is not good.”