Want of funds hits ECR hospital – The Times of India

PATNA: Work on the prestigious super speciality hospital of the East Central Railway (ECR) has been going on here at a snail’s pace for want of funds.

The hospital, which was to be made completely functional by the end of 2009, is likely to be made partly functional with indoor facilities either in May or June this year. This ambitious project would be completed at an estimated cost of Rs 65 crore.

Sources said inadequate sanction of fund has been the main reason behind the slow progress of the work. The Railway Board had allotted a meager Rs 1.5 crore in 2009-2010 and Rs 11 crore in 2010-2011 fiscal. However, about Rs 30 crore more is needed in the 2011-2012 fiscal to complete indoor work of the hospital, the sources said.

ECR acting chief medical director Dr A Prasad said the ECR has so far received about Rs 28 crore only for starting the Phase-I work for OPD. The railways intends to provide operation theatre (OT), ICU and indoor ward facilities on completion of Phase-II work of the hospital. However, the railways is likely to make indoor facilities functional by May or June this year, he said.

The four-storey 150-bed hospital, which is being built on a four-acre land at the Karbighaiya-end of Patna Junction, will provide specialized treatment to the railway employees, their family members and the common people suffering from heart and renal ailments .The railways has decided to outsource two major wings of the hospital cardiology and nephrology to cater to the needs of the railway and non-railway patients, Dr Prasad said.

According to sources, the ECR which has the strength of about 90,000 employees, has been getting only Rs four crore annually to provide medicines and other health care facilities to its employees.

On the other hand, the South Central Railway having strength of about one lakh railway employees gets about Rs 30 crore from the Board. Similarly, B R Singh Hospital of Eastern Railway gets about Rs 12 crore every year from the Board to provide medical facilities to the employees, sources said adding the ECR must get at least Rs 20 crore per year to fulfil the medical and health care needs of employees.

That apart, the super speciality hospital should get Rs 5 crore for its annual maintenance. The Board has not sanctioned funds for making gynaecology, pathology, cardiology and ENT departments functional at the hospital.

Even the support services like kitchen, gas pipeline for oxygen supply, centralized AC, linen washing system and labour room are required on priority basis, sources said. The foundation stone of the hospital project was laid in 2004.

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