Udupi, Aug 27, 2016: A decision of the State Cabinet to allow NRI businessman of South Canara, Padma Shri B.R. Shetty, to develop the 70-bed district government maternity hospital at Udupi into a 200-bed maternity hospital here, has attracted flak from within the Congress.
There are three gynaecologists, three paediatricians and two anaesthetists and 26 nurses working at the district maternity hospital, which handles about 250 deliveries every month.
T.B. Jayachandra, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, had said in Bengaluru on Wednesday that Mr. Shetty wanted to develop the hospital in the memory of his late mother. Hence, the project had been handed over to Mr. Shetty’s BRS Ventures along with three additional sites around the hospital for development.
The hospital would be leased to Padma Sri B R Shetty for 30 years and a committee under the Health Secretary would monitor the hospital rates and utilisation of land, he said. In a press release issued here on Thursday, U.R. Sabhapathi, former MLA and Congress leader, said that the hospital should not be handed over to the private party. The land for the hospital was given as a gift decades ago by the philanthropist late Haji Abdulla Saheb.
In his deed, Abdulla Saheb had made it clear that it was being given only for the construction of government hospital.
During his second term as Udupi MLA (1999-2004), he had opposed the proposal by the then Chief Minister S.M. Krishna to hand over the administration of the district government hospital to a Manipal-based healthcare institution.