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India

District Hospital being launched without doctors, equipment

The Department of Health and Family Welfare in Mysuru has geared up to get the 300-bed District Hospital inaugurated this month without the indispensable medical devices and equipment and the manpower to run the public healthcare facility. The hospital also lacks operation theatres for want of funds.

The hospital, on the ED Hospital campus on KRS Road in Metagalli, constructed at a cost of ₹64 crore, is expected to be inaugurated on January 23 with its civil works almost done. The confirmation of date rests on the availability of Minister for Health B. Sriramulu.

Senior health officials from Mysuru are leaving for Bengaluru on Tuesday to meet the Minister and finalise the date according to his availability. January 23 is the date given by Minister in-charge of Mysuru district V. Somanna, sources told The Hindu.

Despite its launch, the hospital will not be operational immediately since the department is awaiting funds for procuring equipment that are expected to cost ₹10 crore and nod from the government for the appointment of staff, including 60 in-house doctors.

The district hospital was one of the long-pending demands of the Health Department since Mysuru lacked such a facility despite being a major Tier-II city. The Krishnarajendra (KR) Hospital, a 1,000-bed autonomous hospital providing multi-speciality care under the Department of Medical Education, was serving as a district hospital all these years.

The sources said the hospital’s functioning appears unlikely at least in the next few months unless the government makes the funds available for equipment and the doctors were appointed. So far, there has no word from the government on the department’s proposals, it is learnt.

The hospital work began in 2017 and the contract value was around ₹75 crore. The project was delayed. The building should have been fully ready a year ago. About 10 per cent of civil works are said to be pending till date, the sources add.

The hospital is expected to be handed over to the department for carrying out remaining works, mostly installation of equipment, installation of operation theatres and other facilities after its inauguration.

District Health Officer Venkatesh said the hospital needs about 400 staff members, including 60 doctors, 207 paramedical staff, 100 staff nurses, and 28 administrative staff. “The needs of the hospital had been communicated to the government. The inauguration will be a formal one and it will take some time for the hospital to become operational,” he added.

There are also talks to get the senior doctors and the paramedical staff already serving in the department in various places shifted to the new hospital until fresh appointments are made. In case of no fresh appointments, the same staff may be asked to continue.

The district hospital is expected to ease pressure on the K.R. Hospital and Cheluvamba Hospitals, the teaching hospitals of Mysore Medical College and Research Institute (MMCRI).

“We could focus on tertiary care with basic healthcare services taken care by the new district hospital. With limited infrastructure, we are running the services to more number of patients. At least 1,200 outpatients are attended to at K.R. Hospital and more than 50 deliveries are done at Cheluvamba,” said MMCRI Dean and Director C.P. Nanjaraj.

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