Port hospitals will be developed as medical hubs, says shipping minister Nitin Gadkari
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New Delhi: The shipping ministry has decided to convert its hospitals at major ports into medical hubs where super-specialty hospitals and medical colleges will be developed in the public-private partnership (PPP) mode.
As per initial plans, under the first phase port hospitals at Mumbai, Cochin, Chennai, Vishakhapatnam, Kolkata and Paradip will be bid out for 33 years. The bids will be open to all investors–corporate entities, societies, non-governmental organizations and charitable trusts.
India has 12 major ports, namely Kandla, Mumbai, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, Mormugao, New Mangalore, Kochi, Chennai, Ennore, V O Chidambaranar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia). Together these ports handle about 61% of the India’s cargo traffic.
“We had appointed a committee in 2016 for transforming port hospitals and they have recommended that existing hospitals at ports can be upgraded to super specialty hospitals and medical colleges,” shipping minister Nitin Gadkari said on Friday.
The committee, headed by Medical Council of India member Ved Prakash Mishra, submitted its report on Friday.
The minister said that while the 12 major ports in the country focus on cargo operations, there was a need to improve the utilization of asset available with them to enhance revenue, create jobs and benefit more people.
The 12-member Ved Prakash Committee, in its report, recommended that the upgradation of hospitals to tertiary care facilities could be worked out in a manner that a particular super specialty stands assigned to a specific Port Trust Hospital, which then becomes the super specialty centre for all referral purposes by the remaining port hospitals.
The committee has proposed that the Port Trust Hospital at Chennai should be developed into a cardiovascular thoracic surgery superspeciality centre. It has also recommended Cochin for nephrology and Kolkata for neurology and neurosurgery. Similarly, the Port Trust Hospital at Vishakhapatnam can be made a specialty centre for gastroenterology and surgical gastroenterology, the panel said.
The report said initiatives are proposed to be undertaken through the PPP mode and therefore will not entail any financial liability on the central government and the proposed venture even for the starting of postgraduate courses would be in tune with the one which has been worked out for starting of a medical college in tandem with the Port Trust Hospital in Mumbai, including the financial implications and appropriate balancing of the resultant liabilities in an illustrative manner.