The campus of Jai Prabha Hospital in the city could soon have another health hub as the government is planning to invite expression of interest from private players.
The health department would provide a 7-acre plot to the selected private health sector investor. The process would be set in motion within a month. Vyasji, principal secretary, health, said New Delhi-based Max Hospital has shown interest in the project.
“We have decided to provide 7 acres on the Jai Prabha Hospital premises to a private player to develop a super-speciality health care institution on public-private partnership (PPP) mode,” he said.
Vyasji added: “Some big private players, like Max, have shown interest in the project. The final decision would be taken through tenders.”
If the project sees the light of day, it could be a major step forward in attracting private players to the health sector of the state. It would be the second project of its kind after Gurgaon-based Medanta Hospital agreed to open a super-speciality health hub on the campus of Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences in PPP mode.
The land on the Jai Prabha Hospital campus would be given on lease for 30 years. The private player would have to provide treatment at a subsidised rate to people from economically backward families.
The decision of the government has attracted mixed reactions from the medical fraternity.
Indian Medical Association, Patna, president Rajiv Ranjan Prasad said: “The government should not provide land of any hospital to private players to develop a super-speciality health hub. It would impede the growth of the host health hub. Instead, the government should use its own resources to develop advanced health care facilities and employ government doctors for it.”
Ajay Kumar, general secretary, Bihar Health Services Association, agreed with Prasad.
“Instead of providing land to private players, the government can help them acquire land,” he said adding that the authorities should first develop the infrastructure at the government-run medical colleges and hospitals.
Ajay said: “Specialised doctors can be recruited for the government hospitals by providing them with adequate pay packages. Why does the government need the help of private players to improve health care services?”
There were, however, some approving voices among the doctors.
Ophthalmologist Sunil Kumar Singh said: “It is a welcome step. The people would benefit from the initiative. They would not have to go to other states in want of super-speciality treatment.”
Singh is also the vice-president of the JD(U) medical cell.
Sources said in a bid to attract private players to establish hospitals in the state, the department is also developing an integrated policy along with its development partners Confederation of Indian Industry, Bihar Industries Association and Bihar Chamber of Commerce.
“It would ensure certain benefits for the private players. For instance, we would provide them land at the subsidised rates and exempt them from taxes,” said the health department source.