A old and decaying maternity home on Christopher Road is slated for a makeover. If everything goes according to plan, the 20-bed Champamani Maternity Home will turn into a 100-bed multispeciality hospital in two years. The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has agreed to be a part of a public-private-partnership (PPP) to develop the 50-year-old facility into a full-fledged hospital to cater to the medical needs of middle-class families of the city, especially those staying in the south-eastern parts.
A KMC health department senior official said the civic body had in December 2019 taken up an initiative to build a specialized hospital on the Champamani Maternity Home complex. However, progress could not be made after the outbreak of the pandemic. According to a source in the KMC health department, the civic body will invite a tender for the PPP project after state polls.
According to plans, the KMC will hand over the building and around 2 bigha of land on which the maternity home stands to a private healthcare group. The latter will take up construction of a new building adjacent to the old one after making necessary repairs or will demolish the entire existing structure to make way for a new hospital building.
Sources in the KMC health department said that apart from accommodating gynaecology and neonatal departments, the new hospital will offer many specialized treatment facilities for both outdoor and indoor patients. A KMC health department senior official said that though the private healthcare group will be asked to invest towards building the hospital and the group will be given the right to run it, the rates for consultation and admission will be determined in consultation with the civic body’s expert panel. “We won’t allow any private partner to levy exorbitant charges — either for doctors’ consultation or admission. It may so happen that we will reserve a certain number of beds for citizens who belong to the below poverty level groups,” the official said.
Residents of large areas of south-east Kolkata, which include Park Circus, Tangra, Tiljala and Topsia, had been demanding revival of the maternity home that had almost stopped functioning for want of infrastructure and staff, doctors and paramedics.
“Added to that, the pandemic spelt the death knell for the maternity home, which now stands almost as an abandoned building with only an outdoor clinic running somehow,” said a KMC health department senior official.
Source: Times of India