June 15th, 2010
Following are excerpts from a report in Pioneer.
Kalahandi’s Sardar Raja’s Medical College and Hospital (SRMCH), the foundation-stone for which was laid by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on February 8, 2004 at Jaring, named Naveen Town, is yet to cater to the needs of the region full-fledged.
Even after six years, the pending work of the hostel construction is yet to be completed.
Initially, the State Government had provided 25 acres of land at Jaring, en route Bhawanipatna to Junagarh, and the Western Odisha Development Council (WODC) had sanctioned Rs 10 crore (out of which Rs 9 crore has been received) for the establishment of the SRMCH.
The ongoing work began to slowdown when its chairman was convicted in a case by the Madras High Court ten months ago.
… However, Raja’s two sons often visit the Jaring-based SRMCH from Tamil Nadu and hope for its bright future.
CEO Tarun Mishra told The Pioneer that in the absence of the chairman, all its staffers are apparently losing confidence.
Mishra also informed that the trust has enough funds and all its 83 staff members get their salaries in time, but the pace of the work is yet to pick up.
He said that earlier the WODC CEO Aswini Mishra, Kalinga Hospital director Saheb Sahu, Junagarh MLA Gobardhan Das and Berhampur Medical College principal Sunamali Bag had held a review meeting on the hospital campus for speeding up the work.
The SRMCH had signed an MOU with the State Government to complete it in a five-year period, but the period of the MoU has already elapsed.
… Under the Selvan Educational and Charitable Trust, Vadakangulam in Tamil Nadu, the SRMCH has already spent around Rs 25-30 crore and the WODC has funded Rs 9 crore for the building construction and purchase of equipment.
The hospital’s 100-bed facility was first inaugurated on December 9, 2006.
It was again inaugurated on March 18, 2007 with its 200-bed facility followed by its last inauguration of 300-bed on July 27, 2007.
Facilitated with all types of equipment, the hospital work is now being handled by three doctors only, with a medicine specialist, pediatrician and one dentist on duty.
Nearby villagers come to the hospital and take advantage of it as far as possible. It requires appointment of 12 doctors for full-fledged operation.
… The hospital has facilities of an ICU, two X-ray wards, ECG, ultra sound, 3 OTs, but due to insufficient doctors machines are hardly used.
The positive part is that the hospital is somewhat functional and has 300 beds and the trust has spend much more than what it received from WODC. But considering that even the private medical colleges in Bhubaneswar are running at a loss, a private medical college in Kalahandi does not have a good chance of being self-sustaining. The government needs to step in and either take over the infrastructure, add the necessary missing infrastructure and make it a government medical college OR agree to pay the full tuition (at market rates) of at least 20 students/batch for the next five years. The latter will guarantee some cash flow to the trust and perhaps make it easier for them to operate the medical college.