Facing “paucity of funds”, the SDMC has decided to transfer a 60-year-old municipal hospital in Kalkaji to Safdarjung Hospital, seeking a revamp of the health facility languishing with “incomplete redevelopment”.
The move to hand over the 157-bed Purnima Sethi Multi-specialty Hospital to the Centre-run hospital comes ahead of the civic body elections likely to be held in April.
Talks between the two sides to transfer the hospital on “perpetual lease” has been going on for some time, and the Standing Committee of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) cleared the proposal on Tuesday.
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“The Safdarjung Hospital has agreed in-principle to take up this hospital and very soon an MoU will be signed to officially hand over the hospital,” a senior SDMC official said.
Built originally in late 1950s as a single-storey building with 30 beds and named ‘Colony Hospital’, the hospital’s renovation work began in 2007, but due to environmental and other clearance issues, the work got stalled.
Spread over 8,540 sqm, the redevelopment work on the eight-storey quake-resistant building of the hospital in Kalkaji, is “still incomplete”.
“Due to paucity of funds and not receiving adequate grant-in-aid from the Delhi government, the construction work of the redeveloped building has not been completed. Presently, only an OPD providing comprehensive general, specialist and laboratory service to people is operational on the first floor,” SDMC Commissioner P K Goel said.
According to the plan, the hospital has proposed to Safdarjung Hospital to either run it as its satellite hospital or as a separate super-specialty hospital.
“As per the plan, the first two floors will be with us (SDMC) and the rest will be taken by Safdarjung Hospital. Our aim is to deliver best services to people, so if this (transfer) will boost health services, it would be in people’s interest only,” the official said.
“Total cost of the project (construction) once completed is expected to be nearly Rs 105 crore,” the SDMC said.