Steel city to health city - Tata Steel signs deal with Dr Devi Shetty

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By PINAKI MAJUMDAR in Jamshedpur
  • Published 18.07.08

Jamshedpur, July 18: Imagine a city where each and everyone has health insurance for a paltry premium of Rs 10 to Rs 15. And what if that city is Jamshedpur?

Pioneering heart surgeon Devi Shetty was in town today to make that seemingly impossible dream a reality. And collaborating closely on this unique initiative that promises to change the face of affordable healthcare in our cities will be none other than the Tatas.

“Jamshedpur is the most suitable city where we can make the health insurance scheme happen,” said the man behind Karnataka’s revolutionary Yashwasini health insurance scheme that has now been adopted in Andhra too.

“The corporate houses here are socially conscious. Moreover, it is a small city where most of the people are employed directly or indirectly,” the surgeon told The Telegraph after signing a momentous agreement with Tata Steel managing director B. Muthuraman that will pave the way for upgrade of facilities at two city hospitals so that state-of-the-art healthcare facilities are made accessible to everybody.

The two hospitals chosen for this initiative are Ardeshir Dalal Memorial Hospital and Jamshedpur Eye Hospital, both run by charitable trusts dedicated to providing medical help to the lower strata of society. While Ardeshar provides medical care at affordable cost in the areas of surgery, gynaecology and obstetrics-cum-maternity, dialysis, thalassemia and orthopaedics, Jamshedpur Eye Hospital seeks to be a one-stop treatment centre for all kinds of ophthalmological problems.

Dr Shetty’s Narayana Hrudayalaya, set up in a sprawling campus at Bangalore’s Bommasandra, is now a globally renowned medical institution specialising in a wide range of medical disciplines with the primary objective of providing quality medical care to society at large with special emphasis on the need for low-cost medical services for the marginalised sections.

It has now grown into a MediCity, a model that Shetty and the Tatas hope to replicate in Jamshedpur.

Overwhelmed by the opportunity to serve the people of the Steel City, Shetty said: “India produces the largest number of doctors and nurse. However, the people do not have the money to afford the expensive treatment. Through this MediCity in Jamshedpur, we will be able to detach medical care from the affluence associated with it. We thought that Jamshedpur would be an ideal pilot city as we will have the support of Tata Steel which has been responsible for the efficient working of the city for the last 100 years.”

Speaking at the signing ceremony at the Tata Steel boardroom, Muthuraman sounded equally excited at the new initiative with Shetty.

“We have full confidence in the commitment and dedication of the renowned heart surgeon and his team. We are happy that through this initiative, he is involved with Tata Steel in working towards the betterment of the people and society. We will be able to demonstrate to the state of Jharkhand, what we can do for them through this remarkable initiative,” he said.

On his part, Shetty admitted today’s agreement was the “best gift” he had ever received. Raghunath Pandey, the president of Tata Workers’ Union, said: “It is a moment of great honour and pride for all of us when Tata Steel is undertaking this initiative in its centenary year. We will really benefit from this.”

Partha Sengupta, vice-president, Tata Steel corporate services, spoke about a statement of purpose that covers the overall agreement.

“Keeping in view the similarity and philosophy, guiding values and intent of serving the society, Tata Steel and Narayana Hrudayalaya together envision collaborating for the creation of advanced medical care, including a MediCity at Jamshepdpur,” he said quoting from the statement.

Later in the day, Shetty attended a health camp and unveiled a statue of Srimad Brahmananda Shastri at Tamolia on NH-33, the site of Brahmanand Narayana Hrudayalaya, which is being developed by Shetty’s team in collaboration with the Brahmananda Seva Sadan to a 400-bed hospital for treating brain, kidney and heart ailments. The hospital will be inaugurated on October 25.