In the midst of the healthcare horror, a good news, spread over all of 20 acres. A health complex is coming up adjacent to Rabindranath Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Sciences, off the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass.
In a closed-door meeting with renowned cardiac surgeon Devi Shetty at the Calcutta Information Centre on Saturday, chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee gave the go-ahead to develop the project, christened The Health City. Half the land is now ready for use.
The healthcare complex will house 10 hospitals with a total of 5,000 beds. The hospitals will be dedicated to separate disciplines like cancer, neurosurgery, orthopaedics and paediatrics. “Each hospital will have 500 beds. We want to start off with five hospitals — that is 2,500 beds — in the first phase,” Shetty said after his meeting with the chief minister. The details of the next phase will be worked out after studying the progress of the first phase, he added.
The chief minister explained that discussions had been held with the district magistrate of South 24-Parganas on Friday. “We will see to it that the remaining 10 acres, over which the Health City is supposed to come up, is also available.” There are also plans to build a post-graduate institute in the complex for training of specialist doctors.
There would be no dearth of funds to build the health city, as foreign institutional investors were ready to pump in money, Shetty said. He, however, refused to reveal further details.
The project proposal was submitted to the government a month ago. “Work can begin any time now,” said Shetty.
He clarified that the scale of the project did not necessarily mean that treatment would be expensive. “Rather, healthcare would actually be cheaper as a large number of beds would bring down the cost by 25 to 30 per cent,” he said.
Also, nearly 25 per cent of the beds in the health city would be reserved for the working class and the poor, he added.