Why aren’t big hospitals coming to Vijayawada?

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  1. Nov 29, 2015

    satish

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    Why aren’t big hospitals coming to Vijayawada?
    G. VENKATARAMANA RAO

    Vijayawada’s overpriced real estate and a number of other factors are inhibiting investment in the hospital sector. Leaders in the sector say it will be years before state-of-the-art healthcare finds a home in the city.
    Contrary to popular expectations, bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh has not led to big hospitals rushing to Vijayawada to set up shop here. In fact, investments in the health sector in Vijayawada were better before bifurcation. For instance, Kamineni Hospital and Manipal Hospital and a few other healthcare companies set up their branches here before bifurcation.

    Curiously, investments in this sector have plunged since bifurcation, despite the announcement that the new capital would be located between Vijayawada and Guntur.

    So Hyderabad and to a lesser extent Chennai continue to be the preferred tertiary healthcare destinations for the citizens of Vijayawada.

    There has been more significant activity in the public sector side of healthcare. The Central Government’s move to establish an AIIMS in Mangalagiri has finally gathered pace but the institution will have a minimum gestation period of four years.

    Not only have there beeen few new hospitals setting up shop here, some of the old ones have closed down in fact. One of the first multispeciality hospitals in the city, Pinnamaneni Polyclinic, managed by the Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS), has been sold to real estate developers. The property owner and director-general of Pinnamaneni Siddartha Medical College Ch. Nageswara Rao says that all the money generated would be deposited into the corpus fund of the Padmavati Venkateswara Foundation to be used for the healthcare of underprivileged people.

    Hospital management leaders in the city say there are several deterrents to investment in the sector in Vijayawada.

    The most important of these is the sheer cost of land. “Land prices here have suddenly increased for two reasons,” says Indian Medical Association Vijayawada chapter president P.M.C. Naidu. “People from Andhra have stopped investing in Hyderabad as they used to in the past and are now investing here. So land prices have gone up in the state as a whole. And the second reason is the location of the AIIMS right next door. There will be an additional 1,000 beds available soon. Investors would not be interested in going to a place where there is surplus supply.”

    Dr Ravi Chowdary of Prasanth Hospital says there are other factors at play. “There is a severe shortage of quality consultants in the city. Single-specialist speciality hospitals are a thing of the past. But there is hope for multi-specialist single speciality hospitals. For example, a single speciality hospital that treats nephrology and urology patients can team up with a hospital that caters to cardiology problems. These kinds of linkages are necessary in Vijayawada.”

    Dr Chowdary said that in future 50 per cent of the beds in all speciality hospitals would be intensive care beds. But Vijayawada just does not have the required numbers of intensivists. “That’s one of the reasons preventing the speciality health sector from developing here,” Dr Chowdary says.

    Interventional cardiologist P Ramesh Babu, the CMD of Ramesh Group of Hospitals, adds another factor to the equation: the availability of paramedics and technicians with the required training, skills and experience needed for a tertiary care hospitals. They are just not there and they are hard to recruit and train.

    “There is an acute shortage of human resources in Vijayawada. Money has to be pumped into the health sector initially, by the government in particular, to trigger growth,” Dr Ramesh Babu says.

    Vijayawada vs Hyderabad
    The Manipal Group of Hospitals launched a campaign “Why go to Hyderabad” in a bid to send the message that all medical services available there are now available in here. While the intention is understandable, the reality is somewhat different. There is not even a single institution here that does liver transplants on a regular basis. Some of the multi-speciality hospitals have yet to do their first kidney transplantation.

    However Vijayawada does have potential location advantages: it is located at the intersection of two national highways and hosts a major railway junction. This makes it highly accessible to people living in Guntur, Tenali, Eluru, Gudivada, Nuzvid, Machilipatnam, Nandigama, Jaggaiahpeta and Chilakaluripet. Hospitals can be reached within the Golden Hour.

    Vijayawada is more easily accessible than Hyderabad to people of Khammam and Kodads in Telagana.

    source:http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities...itals-coming-to-vijayawada/article7929646.ece
     

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