The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Makeover pill for hospital

Once a full-fledged health centre, the Temple Street branch of Mayo Hospital had fallen into disrepair in the Sixties. But a recent health government initiative may help revive it.

The state government is considering a joint venture with a private party to build a hospital with all modern facilities on the Temple Street premises.

The Mayo Hospital authorities had leased out their Temple Street premises to Shah and Company for 30 years in the late Sixties. The company used the premises for other purposes. Its lease expired in the late Nineties.

In 1982, the state government took over the hospital’s main branch in Burrabazar, thereby bringing it and the Temple Street unit under the health department’s control. However, a funds crunch and lack of administrative initiative on the part of the government made the Temple Street branch fall into disuse.

“As the government is not in a position to provide funds, we are keen on a joint venture with a private party to build a modern hospital,” said Shyamal Basu, special secretary to the health department. A team of health department officials had inspected the Temple Street premises last week.

Director of health services Prabhakar Chatterjee said Shah and Company had submitted a proposal to build a hospital on the premises. “We will take a decision soon,” Chatterjee added.

According to the proposal, Shah and Company will bear the entire cost of the project. The state government will only provide the land. Officials said the private party would be responsible for running the hospital, but it will have to follow guidelines framed by the government. Though the hospital management will be allowed to fix charges for the various healthcare services, subsidies will have to be offered to poor patients. The rates for clinical tests and surgical operations for the poor will be as per health department norms.

Chatterjee said his department was trying to give a facelift to the hospital’s main branch too. “We are looking for a private partner for that project too,” he added.

nIllegal construction: Ten people were arrested in Salt Lake on Saturday for building illegal structures. Police said they were building on encroached land near tank 12 in East Bidhannagar police station area. An eviction drive took place there a few days ago.

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