After a flood of private engineering colleges, it's time for the state's first private medical college to make a debut.
Within days of the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government stating that it was keen to host private medical colleges in Bengal, the BP Poddar Group announced on Thursday the state's first, in Baruipur.
With an investment of over Rs 100 crore and spread over 25 acres, some of which has already been acquired at the site on the city's southern fringes, the Poddar group plans to open the medical college in another three years.
The group, known for its activities in real estate, mining and textile, will set up the medical college and hospital for 100 students and also a 500-bed hospital, as per Medical Council of India (MCI) rules.
There are plans to build state-of-the-art laboratories, hostel facilities, emergency set-up and all necessary infrastructure, officials said.
With permission to start undergraduate classes in SSKM Hospital and to set up a new medical college in Midnapore having been granted, medical education has been a thrust area for the state government.
But the demand was huge, giving rise to the need for private institutions in the field, said government officials.
'We want private groups to come up with new medical colleges. Every government wants that and ours is no different. But over the years, we have seen many groups backing out after initially deciding to set up a hospital, owing to the stringent rules of the MCI,' said C.R. Maiti, director of medical education in the state. 'We hope this endeavour will not end in the same manner.'
Poddar group managing director Devasish Poddar stressed that every norm in the MCI book would be followed, from healthcare facilities for patients to students' requirements.
'The foundation stone should be laid soon,' said group chairman Arun Poddar, shortly after the inauguration of the multi-speciality BP Poddar Hospital, in New Alipore, which has advanced healthcare services including nephrology, oncology, haematology and other disciplines.
Situated in the prime locality of New Alipore, the 220-bed, Rs 60-crore hospital will be turned into a hub for diagnostic centres, clinics and outreach centres, which are being planned in different parts of the city, announced Devasish Poddar.
The group will also tie up with Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai for speciality consultations in critical cases.
This apart, the Poddar group has decided to set up a dental college and hospital in Kamarhati, on the northern fringes of the city.
The Rs 28-crore hospital will be built on a six-acre plot and have 'all modern facilities to teach students about this specialised branch of medicine', added Devasish Poddar.