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Cradle for hospital hands

Wanted: radiology technician to monitor a state-of-the-art 64-slice CT angio system or skilled phlebotomists to accurately draw blood from the vein of an infant or nurses capable of intensive care.

With skilled manpower in the healthcare delivery industry scarce, and chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee stressing the need for comprehensive training, Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals is moving to plug the gap with a Rs 150-crore health institute, spread across 30 acres, in New Town, Rajarhat, Kolkata.

“This will be the first time in the country that our group will set up an institute dedicated to 360-degree training in all segments of healthcare,” V. Satyanarayana Reddy, CEO of the hospital, told Metro. Once the site is identified, the management hopes to break ground by mid-2006 and complete the first phase in a year.

And this will mark a first on the city’s healthcare map as well. Phase I of the medical institute will cater to the “basic HR needs of the hospital industry”, like nursing, paramedical courses, including lab technicians and radiology hands, besides pharmacists, physical and occupational therapists. The nursing, pharmacy and physiotherapy courses will offer bachelors’ degrees and have 50 seats each, while 15 other streams will kick off with 20 seats each.

Faculty will be drawn from the Apollo Group’s national resources, with support from pharmaceutical majors. The city hospital’s Singapore partner, the Parkway Group, will also provide trainers for the institute, besides other critical inputs to aid education.

“I see Calcutta as a regional centre, serving the Northeast, Myanmar, Thailand and, hopefully, Indonesia. About 10 per cent of our international patients come to us for super-speciality treatment,” said Prathap C. Reddy, chairman of the Apollo Hospitals Group.

Keeping that in mind, the second phase of the health institute will be devoted to full-fledged medical education, starting off with the general MBBS course and a built-in 100-bed hospital to be run by the Apollo Gleneagles Education Trust.

Besides the DNB (Diplomate of National Board) seats, the Apollo facility will offer post-graduate courses in multiple modern super-specialities. The immediate aim is to create a resource pool large enough to feed the private healthcare industry in this part of the world. “The ultimate objective is to ensure that the finest brains stay in our country and pursue higher studies in medicine,” added CEO Reddy.




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