Visakhapatnam: The Visakha Institute of Medical Sciences(VIMS) is surrounded by controversy, ever since the issue of alleged privatization of the institute by the state government has been doing the rounds.
The recent Director appointment of Mr.C.V. Rao in place of Officer on Special Duty , P.V. Sudhakar, is also becoming a cause for skepticism for the medical fraternity. The recent move by the government, to invite bids for services of consultancy firms for the hospital, has everyone abuzz on it being an indication to privatization of VIMS. There is a general feeling among people, that privatization would go against the spirit of formation of VIMS. A hospital proposed to develop on the lines of the Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) in Hyderabad, and serve the multi specialty needs of the poor patients of north coastal part of the state.
The CPM along with some other political parties have vociferously opposed the TDP’s privatisation move.
In an attempt to clear the confusion, Dr C.V. Rao in his conversation with the Hindu said that the bids have been invited for consultancy on how to start and develop the super-specialty units such as neurosurgery, neurology, endocrinology, plastic surgery and a separate ward for the treatment of cancer. “Inviting suggestions does not mean that we are going to give the units to the private operators. The specialty departments will be operated by VIMS and will cater to the poor in the true spirit. We have only asked for a DPR from the consultancy firms.”
Speaking about VIMS being a 1300-beded hospital, he said that for the moment, this is to be considered a distant reality. The main objective for the present, he said was to get 50 beds and the trauma care operational 24/7.
“We have 25 specialist doctors and 32 nursing staff as on date. We need about 10 paramedic staff to be outsourced and a 24-hour pharmacy service and get the NTR Vaidya Seva operational immediately. About three operation theatres are ready and we need to get the 50 beds operational immediately,” he added.
Dr. Rao mentioned that a proposal to collaborate with the KGH Blood Bank or Indian Red Cross for the supply of blood to the hospital is also being worked upon.
“It depends on the government’s final nod and once these things are in place we will operate 50 beds and the trauma centre and that is our priority.”
VIMS has a 400 bed occupancy , however, the hospital has been operating with 16 to 20 beds at present.
Dr. Rao, the present Directorial appointee, earlier served as Deputy Superintendent of King George Hospital and Principal of Andhra Medical College, apart from working in a number of hospitals such as Safdargung Hospital in New Delhi, Kurnool Medical College, Guntur Medical College, and Rangaraya Medical College in Kakinada.
Giving a guideline, the new director has opined, “Once the 50-bed trauma care centre starts functioning we intend to start a women and child care centre. It is very difficult for the people from Madhurwada and neighboring areas to go to Government Victoria Hospital for Women and Children in the old town area. We can start another 50 beds catering to this segment by appointing about 10 gynecologists and pediatricians, then we can not only have one more 50-bed ward operational but also reduce the load on Victoria hospital and KGH. We are working on the proposal.”
The Director also spoke about a proposal being worked upon on granting of autonomy to VIMS, based on the pattern of NIMS and SVIMS.
Presently, people from areas including Arilova, Hanumanthwaka, Peddagadeli, Yendada, P M Palem, Bheemili,Chinnagadeli, Madhurawada,Anandapuram, Sagarnagar Kommadi, Tagarapuvalasa are benefitted in the absence of a major government hospital in the vicinity and the urban health centres providing basic medical and health facilities.