Somnath Chatterjee calls for cost-effective medical treatment


Kolkata : Expressing concern over the high percentage of neonatal deaths and maternal mortality in the country, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee Monday called for cost-effective medical treatment.

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“It’s a shame that there is still a very high percentage of neonatal deaths in the country. The maternal mortality rate is also very high,” Chatterjee said after inaugurating a neonatal intensive care and speciality care baby unit at the B.P. Poddar Hospital here.

“There is an urgent need for hospitals and doctors to provide medical treatment at an affordable cost as about 40 percent of India’s population live below the poverty level,” Chatterjee said.

Hospital medical director Chanchal Goswami said plans were afoot to turn the hospital into a research hub.

“We are going to develop the hospital into a clinical research hub. Several clinical researches are undergoing in our hospital. We have already completed eight medical trials of different drug formulations on oncology, of which three are national-level trials and the rest global trials,” Goswami told IANS.

He said eight more clinical trials on oncology are taking place at present and two non-oncology trials (on neurology and orthopaedic treatment) would be held at the hospital in the near future.

“We have plans to increase the total number of beds in our hospital from 137 to 260. The expansion plan, including installation of a state-of-the-art equipment and a radiation oncology unit, would entail an investment of Rs.4 million,” said Arun Poddar, hospital chairman, adding that the additional investment would be spent over a period of next two years.

“We are also going for a public-private-partnership model for setting up a hospital in Burdwan district’s Memary town. We would also come up with some projects in Birbhum district shortly,” he said.