KOCHI: The Cochin Port Trust (CPT) is setting up a nephrology department at the Port Trust Hospital in Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode. The port has invited Expression of Interest (EoI) from hospitals, NGOs, nephrology centres and charitable organisations to establish and operate the department on the premises of the hospital.
The hospital will provide the required space as per prevailing rates and terms and conditions for the unit. The agency which is awarded the contract will be responsible for all statutory sanctions and requirements.
But the move has invited the wrath of the port staff with leading organisations of the employees opposing it. Leaders of the major trade unions alleged it was only a move to hand over the Port Trust land to private parties. “The Union Minister of Shipping had earlier proposed a plan to upgrade hospitals under major ports to the standards of a Medical College,” P M Mohammed Haneef of the Cochin Port Staff Association told Express. “We’re of the opinion the Port Hospital should be declared a referral hospital for people of Lakshadweep lacking adequate health care facilities. The unions will resist any move to privatise it.”
Cochin Port Employees Organisation (CPEO) general secretary C D Nandakumar also shared the same view. “It is not an issue related to CPT alone, but all major ports in the country,” he said. Across the country, TUs are opposing the move. It is a foolish decision aimed at allotting port-owned land to private parties.”
The government had formed a committee to suggest the development model for the port hospitals in PPP mode.According to the port management, it is necessary to have private participation to augment health care facilities at the Port Hospital. “The improvement in health care offered by the Port Hospital is possible only if there is a private partner,” said the CPT spokesman.