Cooperative Bank to set up Rs.350-crore cancer hospital

Calicut City Service Cooperative Bank Ltd. has set in motion the establishment of a Rs.350-crore cancer hospital and research centre at a sprawling location at Chattamangalam, 22 km from the city.

A charitable society, Cancer and Allied Ailments Research (Care) Foundation, with 15 members, including doctors, engineers and social activists, has been constituted for the purpose. The bank will initially provide Rs.20 crore as loan for setting up the hospital. Funds will be mainly sourced from institutions and individuals in India and abroad.

The bank is seeking the approval of the Reserve Bank of India for securing the funds from abroad. Such an ambitious project under the cooperative sector is being initiated for the first time in the State, bank chairman C.N. Vijayakrishnan and directors T.M. Velayudhan and P.A. Jaiprakash told presspersons .

The bank had approached the Cooperation Department with the idea for the hospital but the department refused consent, saying the bylaws of the bank did not permit such a project. Later, the bank representatives met Cooperation Minister G. Sudhakaran who, impressed with the idea, issued an order.The charitable society would have an Additional Registrar of the Department of Cooperation and an Additional Director of the Department of Health Services on the governing body, they said.

The bank had acquired 15.5 acres of land at a cost of Rs.5 crore. The office would start functioning from June 1. The Chattamangalam grama panchayat had offered to provide its wholehearted support by widening the road and supplying water from the Chaliyar river.They said a Mumbai-based firm Seagull Consultancy had been entrusted with the task of preparing a detailed project report. The report would be submitted in a fortnight. A sum of Rs.5.5 lakh had been paid to the firm for preparing the project.

Architects had been shortlisted for constructing the hospital that was expected to start functioning with 150 beds from January 2013. The hospital, which would be constructed in a phased manner, would become fully operational in 2020, Mr. Vijayakrishnan said.Individuals could buy a share at Rs.10,000. The hospital would cater to the people in the region, especially those in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts. At least 10 per cent of the services would be provided free of cost to the economically backward communities.Facilities would be made available for early detection of cancer and subsequent treatment, Aysha Guhraj, retired principal of Government Medical College, Kozhikode, who is a director of the bank, said.

Decks had been cleared for the construction of 14-storeyed apartment for members, Mr. Vijayakrishnan said.

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