CHENNAI: If the proposal sent to the state health department to convert the 300-acre property of the now-defunct Hindustan Photo Films in Ooty into a medical college, is approved, the state of Ooty will have a new medical college with a 300-bed multi-speciality hospital by 2020,
The confirmation to this effect was made by Dr A Edwin Joe, Director, Medical Education to media persons.
With a new medical college coming up in Karur and an increase of seats in government medical colleges in Madurai and Tirunelveli the state will be in possession of 300 additional MBBS seats from 2019.
With Ooty lacking proper medical facilities, and the vacant property of the HPF facing closure, the Directorate of Medical Education has been pushed into asking the health department for the setting up of a medical college hospital. If clearance is granted, the medical college will be the first facility to come up in the hilly regions of the state.
Some HPF buildings like the administrative block and the residential quarters could be redone to serve the purpose of the college, said the health department officials, after an initial survey of the place.
The Hindustan Photo Films which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, in its heydays was the only public sector undertaking manufacturing films for cinema, photography, X-ray and graphic arts and also the only supplier of X-ray films to all state-run units. In the 1990s, with the introduction of digitalisation of equipment PSU started to incur losses till it finally faced a closure in April.
The reason for Nilgris being medically backward is due to poor doctor-patient ratio and high vacancies in government hospitals and clinics.
Its internal reports and statistics show high maternal mortality rate, Dr Joe indicated in his proposal. “Pregnant women in the district are shifted to Government Coimbatore medical college and hospital for C-sections. A large section of people are from tribal communities and many are hesitant to come out of the district even for life-saving therapy. The temperature variation also makes them uncomfortable,” he added to TOI.
Though the health department is wanting to strengthen southern districts like Rameswaram, the Ooty legislator, R Ganesh said that a 50,000 tourist footfall called for a multi-speciality hospital.
Senior government doctors said. “Many times doctors from neighbouring districts are posted at Ooty as a part of the emergency management team. If we have medical college hospital it would be helpful.” “ Also, when there is a multi-speciality hospital the doctor-patient ratio will increase,” said Government Doctors Association President, Dr K Senthil urging for post-graduate seats, particularly Diploma in National Board.
Dr Joe said construction of Karur Medical College was expected to be over by February 2019. “So, it will be ready for the inspection by the Medical Council of India in March.”