Referral Hospital will not be sold: Govt

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Aizawl, Mar 27 (UNI) Mizoram Health minister today made it clear that the Falkawn Referral Hospital would not be sold to any private organisation, dismissing rumours that it will be sold to the Roman Catholic Church.

Mr R Tlanghmingthanga was replying to ZNP member Andrew Lalherliana's question in the Assembly.

However, whereas Tlanghmingthanga maintained that he and his department's officials were not aware of 'proposals' to hand over the hospital to the Roman Catholic Church, Chief Minister Zoramthanga, who also holds the GAD portfolio, intervened and said that the RC leaders had met him and proposed to him that they run the hospital.

However, that does not mean that the referral hospital will become the property of the Roman Catholic Church. It will only run the hospital on lease while the ownership will remain with the Mizoram government, Mr Zoramthanga explained.

Earlier, Falkawn's villagers who had generously donated their land for the establishment of Falkawn Referral Hospital had decided to demand compensation for their land as the hospital was 'being handed over to the Roman Catholic Church'.

The villagers felt that if the hospital is run by a private company or a church it would become less beneficial to the people.

This was pointed out by Congress's Lalrinliana Sailo in the House.

He added that many of the villagers had converted to Roman Catholic as the latter promised them jobs in the hospital.

The handing over of the maintenance part to private organisation has become necessary, according to the chief minister and the health minister, because the amount sanctioned for the hospital could only meet the construction cost.

The health minister refuted Andrew Lalherliana and other opposition members' allegations that the much-awaited referral hospital had to be reduced to a 50-bedded against the original plan of 300 beds due to violation of guidelines laid out by the funding agency DoNER.

''The amount which had been sanctioned for the referral hospital is too meagre to fulfil the original plan. As a result, the Centre has suggested that we start it with a 50-bed hospital,'' he told the House.

UNI ZS PL SS1741

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