J&K: Rs 3,325 cr investment proposals in health-care

J&K receives Rs 3,325 cr investment proposals in health-care sector despite Covid-19 situation

Representative image. Credit: iStock photo.

Jammu and Kashmir has received investment proposals of Rs 3,325 crore in health-care and medical education sectors, even as much-hyped global investors summit to attract investment into health care setup came to grinding halt due to Covid-19 this year.

Despite the Covid-19 situation, the health and medical education department took a lead in Jammu and Kashmir to attract global investment into health care setup, including health, education post abrogation of Article 370 and reorganisation of state into two union territories.

"We have received investment proposals worth Rs 3,225-3,325 crore into the health care setup and medical education sector in Jammu and Kashmir, despite Covid situation", Financial Commissioner health and medical education, J&K, Atal Dulloo told PTI in an interview here. He said that as the much-hyped global investors summit came to a sudden halt due to COVID-19 pandemic, the Jammu and Kashmir health and medical education department has been making fresh progress to attract global investment into health care setup, including health and wellness tourism, in the union territory.

"It is due to these efforts that investment proposals have started coming to us in the health and medical education sectors", Dulloo said. The FC said that a screening committee was constituted in October this year to scrutinize the proposals received under health care investment policy.

"To screen the proposals received from various investors for investment in the health & medical education sector in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir in light of health care investment policy, the operational guidelines have been framed", he said. Of these investment proposals, the Virinchi healthcare Private Limited has submitted a project proposal for setting up of 500 bedded multi-speciality hospital in J&K with an investment of Rs 200 crore.

The HP Kapital Limited has submitted a Rs 2,200 crore proposal with the department for setting up of a hi-tech medical university with 350-bedded hospital and 700-bedded student accommodation, one each at Kashmir and Jammu with an employment generation for 6,000 people.

Similarly, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Limited has submitted a proposal for setting up 200-250 bedded super speciality hospital in Jammu with an investment of Rs 200-250 crore and employment opportunities to more than 1,200 persons.

Areesha's Royal Hospital Private Limited has submitted a Rs 425-crore proposal for setting up of a multi-specialized 500-bedded teaching and referral hospital with a medical, nursing and paramedical college with employment opportunities to more than 1,000 youth.

"All the four proposals submitted by the probable investors along with their respective projects proposals are in active consideration of the government", Dulloo said. He said that the divisional commissioner of Jammu, as well as divisional commissioner of Kashmir, has identified the government land at various places in Jammu and Kashmir respectively which are being visited by the probable Investors. Over the years, the healthcare sector in Jammu and Kashmir has shown significant progress in terms of improvement in infrastructure, manpower and health system, which is now reflected in improved healthcare indicators of the UT that have become comparatively better than those in many other states and even better than the national average, as per NFHS indicators.

"In J&K, where the private sector is still in infancy and almost 80 per cent of the healthcare facilities are being provided by the public sector, the overcrowding of the Government health institutions has led to compromise in the quality of care", FC said. "Our aim is to establish Jammu & Kashmir as a destination of choice for health care service providers in the private sector", he said.

The Jammu and Kashmir State Administrative Council (SAC) on March 9, 2019, approved the ''State Health Care Investment Policy-2019'' aimed at promoting private parties and entrepreneurs to set up healthcare infrastructure in the state. This Healthcare Investment Policy aims to realize the UT's obligation of providing quality and effective healthcare to its citizens and to take healthcare service to the doorsteps of the masses so as to ensure availability of the complete gamut of healthcare services in the primary, secondary and tertiary care sectors to the people of the UT, he said.

Jammu and Kashmir is the only state in the country, which has no major and middle-level chain of hospitals operating in the rest of the country. Except Batra Hospital in the private sector, nearly 97 per cent of healthcare needs are met by public health institutes, reveals a latest report on manpower audit in the health department, underlying importance of the government healthcare system in the state.

"In 2018-19 at least 2.39 crore OPD visits of patients have recorded in J&K and out of them 99.2 per cent (2.22 crore patients) were seen only in government hospitals. The private sector accounted for a minuscule 0.8 per cent of all OPD visits", as per the report. Besides, 96.6 per cent (8.36 lakh) patients who needed admission availed public health facilities while 91.3 per cent of all deliveries took place in government hospitals, it added.

Dulloo said that most of the dependence of people rests with public health institutes. "We are in the fresh process to attract global investment into the healthcare setup in Jammu and Kashmir. The Covid-19 has badly hit the global investors summit to bring huge investment into J&K. We are back with the process now", Dulloo said.

Dulloo, who is the architect of the 'State Health Care Investment Policy-2019', said that focus is not only creation of the best of the best private hospitals in Jammu and Srinagar but also smaller ones in districts and health resorts to boost health and wellness tourism as J&K is natural destination of the world.

The salient features of the health care investment policy include 30 per cent subsidy on capital investment to be provided for setting up of multi-speciality and super-speciality hospitals, medical, nursing and paramedical colleges. Other salient features of the policy include interest subsidy at a rate of 5 per cent per annum on term loan subject to a ceiling of Rs 15 lakh per year for a period of five years from the date of operationalisation of the project and subsidised power tariff rates as applicable to the industries sector. "Single-window clearance mechanism would be adopted for processing the project proposals with final approval to be accorded by Apex Level Project Clearance Committee (ALPCC)", he said.

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