LS Speaker concerned over neonatal deaths

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Kolkata, Dec 24 (UNI) Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee today expressed concern over the high neonatal death rate in the country.

Inaugurating a neonatal speciality unit at the B P Poddar hospital here, he said ''it is a shame that there is still a very high percentage of neonatal death in the country. The maternal mortality rate is also very high.''.

Mr Chatterjee emphasized on the need for cost-effective medical treatment and said, ''there is an urgent need for hospitals and doctors to provide medical aid at an affordable cost as about 40 per cent of India's population live below the poverty level.'' BPP hospital's director Chanchal Goswami said that plans are afoot to turn the hospital into a research hub. ''We are going to develop the hospital into a clinical research hub. Several clinical researches are now undergoing in our hospital. We have already completed eight medical trials of different drug formulations on oncology,'' Dr Goswami said.

''We have plans to increase the total number of beds in our hospital from 137 to 260 over the next two years that forecasts an investment of Rs 4 million. The expansion plan, including installation of a state-of-the-art equipment and a radiation oncology unit,'' BPP Hospital and Medical Research Ltd chairman Arun Poddar said.

Talking about their expansion plans in different districts of Bengal, he said, ''We are also going for a public-private-partnership model for setting up a hospital in Burdwan's Memary. Another project in Birbhum is also in the pipeline.'' UNI

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