The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Organ hospital opts for city
- Rs 125-crore transplant centre ahead
Total project cost: Rs 125 crore
Total area: 10 acres
Total beds: 750
Poised to attract: Southeast Asia, UK, USA
Specialisation: Organ transplants
Faculty: 150 specialists, mostly NRIs and also experts from AIIMS and PGI Chandigarh
Reserved for poor: 10 per cent of total beds
Additional facilities: Hotels, malls and parks

Transplantation of the heart, liver, kidney and bone marrow in Calcutta, a distant dream till a few years ago, is set to become a reality, with the commissioning of the city's first organ transplant hospital and the biggest in the country.

Spread over a 10-acre plot, the Rs 125-crore project will be set up by Hyderabad-based Global Hospitals Group, headed by surgical gastro-enterologist and managing director K. Ravindranath.

He will be in the city on Tuesday to work out the finer details of the project and also finalise a deal on a plot of land off Rajarhat.

Once ready, the hospital, with hotels and malls on campus, will have 750 beds and 150 full-time specialists in the field of liver diseases, gastro-enterology, heart, kidney and other specialities, with the primary focus on transplants.

'We have already spoken to many non-resident Indian doctors who are transplant experts in the UK and USA. They have all expressed their eagerness to come to Calcutta and work full-time in the new hospital,' Ravindranath told Metro from Hyderabad on Sunday.

Talks are also underway to rope in doctors from the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and PGI Chandigarh, said Ravindranath.

The hospital was originally to be set up in Mumbai, but the intervention of the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industries (BCCI), which played a key role in persuading Ravindranath to set up the hospital, clinched the deal in favour of Calcutta.

'Our focus was to ensure quality investment in healthcare in the city. We have been working as a catalyst in the deal and are glad that things have turned out this way,' said urologist Amit Ghose, chairman (health), BCCI.

The chamber had initiated the project after talks with chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and health minister Surjya Kanta Mishra.

'It's a very good project and the government will help Global set up their centre here. I have already spoken to their representatives,' Mishra said on Sunday.

Global Hospitals, which has a 150-bed hospital in Hyderabad, decided to come to Calcutta after carrying out a feasibility study on the project.

'Calcutta has a huge potential to become a major healthcare hub of the country, apart from opening its doors to Southeast Asia as well as the West,' said Ravindranath. 'With spiralling healthcare costs in the US, more and more patients are heading towards India.'

To start operations within at least a year, Global will have 300 beds and then gradually expand towards full capacity.

The hospital will have all modern facilities for all branches of medicine, apart from transplants.

Keeping in mind the large number of patients from the lower-income group, Global has decided to reserve 10 per cent of its beds for the poor. 'These patients will get services totally free. We have done this in Hyderabad, too,' Ravindranath added.

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