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50-bed separate units for mothers, babies

The health department would start a 50-bed mother and childcare units in district hospitals.

Officials of the department said the initiative would be one-of-its-kind because private players would be asked to provide services, including carrying out C-sections and normal deliveries, apart from providing other facilities in the district hospitals.

Sanjay Kumar Singh, secretary, health, said his department came up with the idea of engaging private players because it lacks manpower to start the facility on its own.

“Our department lacks human resource and logistics. This was the reason we decided to engage private players in the plan. According to the plan, the 50-bed mother and childcare unit would be run on a public-private partnership mode. We had issued an expression of interest regarding this in the last month and two companies, one from Delhi and one from Aurangabad, have come forward. However it’s yet to be decided whether the work would be awarded to any one of the two companies or to any third party,” said Singh.

“The state government wants to provide quality services and setting up of the 50-bed mother and childcare unit is a step ahead in fulfilling this dream,” added Singh.

Health department sources said the private partner would have to provide day-to-day clinical services with skilled manpower and consultants. It would also have to provide equipment for different services, which would be started, including outpatient department, inpatient department, operative, post-operative, intensive care and diagnostic facilities.

“The delivery unit would include a receiving room, an examination room, pre-delivery observation room, delivery room, post-delivery room, antenatal and post-natal ward, nursing station, treatment room, emergency room, blood storage unit, operating theatre, newborn stabilisation unit and routine immunisation centre,” said a source in the department.

He added: “The tenure of the private agency would be for five years and it might be extended by another three years if it gives a satisfactory performance. Based on the proposal, adequate built-up space would be provided to the private party at the hospital to start the unit. However, the final layout would be decided on mutual agreement. Water and electricity connection would be provided to the unit on an actual cost basis.”

A member of the state branch of Indian Medical Association criticised the plan of the health department though. “Why can’t the health department upgrade the infrastructure and manpower instead of engaging a private player in the plan? If a private firm looks after the service, it would think about making profit, which would ultimately affect poor patients,” said an IMA member.