March 13, 2011

Railway ministry to set up medical colleges on public-private partnership basis

The union railway ministry has invited expression of interest (EoI) for setting up as well as running medical colleges on a public-private partnership (PPP) basis on railway land at five locations in the country.

The scheme is open for both Indian as well as global institutions till the end of this month. The medical colleges will come up at Kharagpur, Guwahati, Chennai, Secundarabad, and Lucknow.

According to a railway ministry official, the ministry will provide the land for the purpose. “Railways plans to partner with both Indian as well as overseas institutions for establishing and running medical colleges in railway premises on PPP model. Since the railway land/hospitals are mostly in the heart of the city, it makes a good option for those willing to invest,” the official said.

According to a ministry circular on the subject, “The private partner will have to build operate and maintain the medical college, hostel and other infrastructure required on the railway land. Private partner will have to substantiate the shortfalls as per the Medical Council of India (MCI) norms in the services, including bed.”

Going forward, the railway ministry will commit a 340-bed hospital in Kharagpur, a 317-bed hospital in Guwahati, 500 beds in Chennai, 300 beds in Secunderabad, and 275 beds in Lucknow. But this will come at a price for the private partner. A share of seats will be reserved for wards of railways employees. The circular says, “Seat-sharing for wards of railway employees is an essential pre-requisite.”

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