Mangaluru: Activists opposed to the proposed construction of District Mother and Child hospital in Udupi based on the PPP model by BRS Ventures have knocked on the doors of the court out of apprehension that it could to privatization of the government hospital.
The new building of Karnataka Government Koosamma Shambhu Shetty Memorial Haji Abdullah Mother and Child Hospital was inaugurated on November 19 by CM Siddaramaiah.
As per the Public Private Participation agreement, BRS Ventures would construct a six storied building for District Mother and Child Hospital. With this, the 70 bed hospital would be upgraded to 200 bed hospital. Meanwhile, a multi specialty hospital would come up in the place where the mother and child hospital is located now. The multi specialty hospital would be like any private hospital. However, it would provide free treatment to inmates of mother and child hospital.
Sources said in the MoU the state government is likely to bestow the power of appointment of doctors and staff, fixating of salary and purchase of drugs to its private partner.
"If all this is done by the private partner then what is the role of government? How can we call it a government hospital? The private partner will initially charge a small amount on the service and later end the free treatment. The real sufferers will be poor patients who depend on government hospitals" said Muneer Katipalla, state president of DYFI, adding "On one hand, the government claims to rein the private hospitals but on the other, it is privatizing government hospitals. This is nothing but a slow step towards privatising the hospital. They have allowed BRS Ventures to construct a Multispeciality hospital in the government land! Slowly the government hospital would be neglected and after some years the government would handover the hospital to the private partner with an agreement of free bed in the general ward to the poor."