October 25, 2008

Medical college plan on ESI hospital premises

The Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) is moving to start a medical college here, on the premises of its 500-bed hospital, at a cost of Rs. 300 crore.

When implemented, this will be the district’s third medical college. It already has two: the Coimbatore Medical College run by the State government, and the PSG Institute of Medical Sciences and Research.

This is part of an ESIC project to start medical colleges around 23 of its hospitals in the country using surplus funds of Rs. 7,000 crore.

At a meeting on the State government’s free heart surgery scheme for children, Rural Industries Minister Pongalur N. Palanisamy said the college in Coimbatore would come up in 18 months.

A team headed by the Dean of the Coimbatore Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) had made a study of the available infrastructure at the ESI Hospital last month and sent a report to the State government.

Explaining the process involved, CMCH Dean (in-charge) V. Kumaran told The Hindu on Friday that the State government would issue an essentiality certificate and forward the proposal to the Central government. It would then be sent to the Medical Council of India.

The Council would inspect the facilities at the hospital, which is to serve as a hands-on training centre for medicos.

If the facilities meet the norms, the Council would issue a letter of permission.

While the Central government (through ESIC) would provide the infrastructure, the State government would provide the faculty resources.

Informed sources said ESIC had appointed a retired official of the Medical Council as consultant to implement the projects at the 23 hospitals.

The ESI Hospital at Ayanavaram in Chennai would become a superspecialty hospital under this project.

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