Work at Safdarjung Hospital's Sports Injuries Centre (SIC) is on track and the centre will open its doors to the public on September 15.
The Rs 70.72-crore first-of-its-kind sports centre in South-East Asia will offer all sports-related diagnostic, surgical and rehabilitation facilities under one roof. Its staff strength of 211 will include 15 specialists in orthopaedics and sports medicine, who will be assisted by sports psychologists, fitness trainers, dieticians, rehabilitation experts and masseurs.
Since the centre will also offer imaging and diagnostics facilities for orthopaedic injuries, the waiting period for getting tested is expected to come down substantially.
The 44-bed centre will initially cater exclusively to Commonwealth Games athletes but will later treat nearly 2,500 people every year. The centre's specialists are mostly teaching faculty, as the centre eventually will grow as a dedicated school for sports medicine.
"The idea was conceived to popularise sports medicine, and have a rehabilitation set-up for injured sportspersons. However, we had to fast-track the project for the Games," said Vineet Chaudhary, joint secretary, ministry of health and family welfare.
The imaging and diagnostic facilities at the 44-bedded centre will be available for all, but only those suffering from any sports-related injury will be admitted to the centre. People referred by government hospitals will be charged government rates, but those referred from private hospitals will be charged according to the private rates.
The imaging facilities at the centre will be operational 24X7. "We didn't want it to be one of those hospitals where imaging centres function during fixed hours. This centre will be open throughout the day and night," said orthopaedic surgeon Dr Deepak Chaudhary, head, SIC.
The centre is established under the public-private-partnership (PPP) scheme and includes six private partners separately for imaging, diagnostic and catering facilities. Equipment worth Rs 6 crore has already been procured for the centre, and the rest of the equipment worth Rs 17 crores will be procured by the first week of September. "Such a centre was long needed, and we are glad to be ready with it before the Games," said Chaudhary.