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Move to operate cancer centre on PPP model sparks controversy

T.V. Sivanandan



Opposition:The Jai Karnataka Rakshana Vedike rallying against the decision of the Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology to run the Peripheral Cancer Centre on PPP model, in Gulbarga on Wednesday.

GULBARGA: The decision of the Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, to run the Peripheral Cancer Centre in Gulbarga on a Public Private Participation (PPP) model despite opposition from the public and other organisations, has kicked up a controversy.

Director of the Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology M. Vijaykumar and Medical Education Minister S.A. Ramdas will hold a final meeting on Thursday with the agencies and institutions that have expressed an interest in the PPP model in Bangalore.

Dr. Vijaykumar said an internal preliminary discussion was held in this regard on Wednesday.

The Peripheral Cancer Centre in Gulbarga was established with the purpose of providing free and affordable cancer treatment to the poorer sections in the Hyderabad Karnataka region.

Thursday's meeting with aspiring stakeholders is being held despite Water Resource Minister Basavaraj Bommai's opposition to the idea of a PPP model and to the recent transfer of all the staff working in the centre.

Although Dr. Vijaykumar reversed the decision to transfer the staff working in the centre en masse to Bangalore, the decision to go ahead with the move to run the centre on PPP basis has been opposed by social organisations fighting for the cause of retaining the cancer centre as it is.

Even the Finance Department had taken exception to the proposal of the Medical Education Department to run the centre and the 500-bed New Government General Hospital on PPP basis, citing the failure of the PPP experiment at the OPEC hospital in Raichur.

In a note to the Medical Education Department, the Finance Department had drawn attention to the poor monitoring of the peripheral cancer centre in Gulbarga and a similar centre at Mandya. “Why the Kidwai Institute of Oncology cannot effectively supervise these centres has not been examined by the government. The institute can be separately asked to examine the feasibility of running peripheral cancer centres either on PPP basis or as branches of main centre at Bangalore,” the note said.

Funds crunch

Sources in the Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology said that it had become difficult for them to run the cancer centre due to shortage of staff and funds.

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