The Jharkhand government has set a March deadline for starting services at the 500-bed Ranchi sadar hospital, lying defunct since its construction was completed in 2011, health officials said on Wednesday.
Jharkhand has one of the lowest bed to patient ratio in India at 1:6052 compared to the national average of 1:1833, according to the National Health Profile 2015.
The only government hospital in the capital, the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), currently operates 991 beds at its general section against a patient flow of 1200 a day.
During an inspection of the sadar hospital on Wednesday, principal secretary in the health department, K Vidyasagar said that by January the department will finish equipping a section of the hospital with 200 beds and begin admitting patients by March-end.
Health officials said that the hospital will start functioning in two phases.
In the first phase, the hospital’s seven-storeyed ward section will have 200 beds and an operation theatre, and by March the department will provide the remaining 300 beds, diagnostic services, an emergency section and more operation theatres at the 10-storey main building.
Officials were directed during the inspection to start procedures to facilitate procurement of beds, a modular operation theatre and equipment.
“The department by this month-end will finish with the recruitment of 250 doctors. Majority of them will be posted with the Ranchi sadar hospital. The department will also post specialists to start of essential surgeries,” said Vidyasagar, adding that the recruitment of nurses and medical staff will soon be started.
The Ranchi civil surgeon and the chief engineer of the project have been directed by the principal secretary to start equipping the ward section of the hospital with water, electricity, fire safety and elevators.
“The blueprint to start of the hospital was already ready and it would be implemented within the time-frame,” said Dr Sumant Mishra, the director-in-chief of Jharkhand health services.
Spread over around 10 acres in the heart of Ranchi at Albert Ekka Chowk, the hospital was built at a cost of Rs 131 crore along with a 10-storey doctors hostel by the Jharkhand government.
Health officials said initially it was planned to operate the hospital on a public-private partnership (PPP) mode. However, private players didn’t accept the financial terms of the health department and later the state decided to run it on its own.
Health activist PP Verma said, “If the government has taken these steps it is good for the people. The state capital’s health services are groaning under shortage of beds and additional beds will boost the scenario.”