Udupi: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah inaugurated the new building of Koosamma Shambhu Shetty Haji Abdulla Memorial Maternity and Children’s Hospital here on November 19.
The hospital was constructed following a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the state government and NRI businessman Dr. B R Shetty owned BRS Health Research Institute Pvt Ltd (BRSHRI).
The inaugural function began with the traditional ceremony of the lighting of the lamp by the chief minister.
Health Minister Ramesh Kumar, District In-charge Minister Pramod Madhwaraj, Kaup MLA Vinayakumar Sorake, State Minister K J George, State Minister U T Khader, MLC Ivan D’Souza, CMC President Meenakshi Madhav Bannanje, Dr. B R Shetty and others were among those present at the inauguration.
After the inauguration, the rest of the programme was held at the Board School premises near the service bus stand.
Addressing a gathering, Siddaramaiah said, “When I was here at the end of October last year, for the foundation ceremony, Dr. B R Shetty at that time said that the hospital would be built within a year.” He then added that even though the main building had been completed, there was still some work left to be done, which would be completed by 15 January 2018.
Clarifying the status of the hospital, he said that it would remained a government hospital having free five star facilities for the poor people.
He said that a super specialty hospital would be built in place of the old hospital, and assured that BPL cardholders would receive free treatment and APL cardholders would receive treatment for partial payment.
Health Minister Ramesh Kumar said that he was inspired by the Satya Sai Seva Trust of Andhra Pradesh, where he saw free treatment being given to people at large. “It made me wonder why it was not possible in Karnataka. So I called Pramod Madhwaraj and asked him about the availability of land for the establishment of a government hospital with the help of private citizens”, said Kumar.
He added that they met with Dr. B R Shetty and decided that the government would provide the land for the construction of the hospital. “The hospital is completely owned by the government”, he clarified, adding that the deputy commissioner would monitor the hospital and form a committee for the same.
Referring to the recent stir of the private doctors and hospitals, he said that doctors have placed their demands regarding the KPME Amendment Bill. “We are in favour of the poor people of the state and at the same time the bill is not against the doctors”, he clarified.
He concluded his address to the gathering by stating that he would return for the formal inauguration of the hospital building on January 15.
Dr. B R Shetty spoke about his intention to start the hospital in his hometown of Udupi for quality healthcare, in his address to the gathering. “We have more than 88 hospitals in different parts of the world. I wanted to make a good quality hospital in my home town in my parents’ memory”, he concluded.
Pramod Madhwaraj welcomed the gathering and delivered the keynote address. Manhor Prasad compered the programme.
K Gopal Poojary, MLA Byndoor and President of KSRTC; Vinay Kumar Sorake, Kaup MLA and former district in-charge minister; Meenakshi Madhav Bannanje, CMC President; B S Shetty, Advisory, NMC, Bengaluru; Dr. C R Shetty, Vice President of BRS Venture; Janardhan Thonse, President of Udupi District Congress; Priyanka Mary Francis, Deputy Commissioner and others were present at the function.
KPME Amendment Bill: Doctors’ strike
Regarding the recent doctors’ strike, CM Siddaramaiah, at the Circuit House here, said, ” We don’t intend to harass or restrict private doctors. Our intention is only to help the poor.”
When asked about who won in the talks over the amendment bill, Siddaramaiah said that neither the government nor the doctors won, but the poor patients definitely won as a result of the talks.
More Indira Canteens
Speaking about the state government’s Indira Canteen Scheme, the CM said, “Indira Gandhi’s main moto was ‘garibi hatao’ and as a continuation of her vision we have planned to establish 500 Indira Canteens in Bengaluru, 200 of which will be completed by the end of December. Our target is to open one canteen for every one lakh of population.”