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Health hub on revamp mode
Master plan on anvil for better care

With age, Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) can only turn out as a state-of-the-art self-sustaining medical facility.

The building construction department has started working on plans for redevelopment, renovation, restoration and modernisation of the 88-year-old premier health hub, which caters to thousands of critical patients referred by district hospitals everyday.

About preparation of the master plan for the PMCH, building construction department secretary Chanchal Kumar said: “It has been observed that the facilities and infrastructure at the PMCH have not been able to keep up with the introduction of new technologies and innovations in the field of medical services in the recent past.”

“According to the plan, we are now in the process of selecting a master consultant, who would prepare the master plan for redevelopment and upgrade of the entire premises of this health hub. The redevelopment would be done considering the future needs and requirements of the PMCH, which would be provided to us by the health department,” he added.

Senior officials in the health department said efforts are being made to uplift health hubs in other parts of the state as well. “We have plans to redevelop and upgrade all six medical colleges into multi-speciality facilities. The PMCH is being taken on priority basis, as the chief minister is also keen on developing it as a centre of excellence in the near future. Besides, the glory of the premier health hub also needs to be maintained,” said health department secretary Sanjay Kumar.

The premier health hub — spread across an area of about 58.5 acres facing Ashok Rajpath on its south and the Ganga on its north — was formally inaugurated in 1925.

The average load in the out-patient department is about 2,500 to 3,000 per day, whereas the average patient input in the emergency is estimated to be about 300 to 350 patients daily, making it one of the most sought-after medical destinations in this region.

The hospital was in dire need of revamp as the original structures built around 140 years ago are in dilapidated condition at present. The ceiling of operating theatre-4 at Rajendra surgical block collapsed on October 19, sparking panic among patients.

The ceilings of most original buildings have developed cracks, bathrooms are in poor condition, incidents of plaster peeling off the walls, jutting iron rods, water seeping through the walls — scenes like these are quite common at the PMCH.

Though the facilities and educational services at the health hub are looked after by the health department, the building construction department mostly takes care of the structural and infrastructure aspects. “We are shortly going to select the master consultant, who would assist the department in further execution of the master plan as well,” said Chanchal.

The master consultant would also provide its consultancy for developing PMCH into an AIIMS-like institution in adherence to the guidelines of Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Surakha Yojana (PMSSY)

Though the master plan would envisage displacement of some of the existing structures at PMCH, sources claimed that the administrative block would not be demolished to make any new structure as it has been declared a heritage building.

Chanchal added that a cue would also be taken from the vision document prepared by the PMCH administration for infrastructure development of the premier health hub in the next 100 years.

About the primary health centres (PHC) in the districts, Sanjay added that the health department had assigned the work of upgrading 210 PHCs into community health centres (CHC) to the building construction department.

“Of the 201 PHCs, the department has already completed the redevelopment work on 10 of them and the same on another 20 are expected to be completed by January-end. Moreover, upgrading the remaining 180 PHCs is likely to be completed within the next year,” said Sanjay.

Apart from the building construction department, the health department is also upgrading another 198 PHCs in the state through its own executing agency — Bihar Medical Services and Infrastructure Corporation Limited.

“The health department has recently approved two proposals for setting up multi-speciality facilities in the state. The first is related to setting up a state cancer institute at Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences. The other one is related to setting up tertiary cancer care centres at Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital and Bhagalpur Medical College and Hospital,” said Sanjay.