Antony urges corporate sector to assist ailing govt hospitals

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Kochi, May 18 (UNI) Defence Minister A K Antony today urged the corporate sector, which was investing crores of rupees in buying cricket teams, to spend some money on improving infrastructure in government hospitals.

Inaugurating a new OP Block at the Ernakulam District Hospital here, Mr Antony said both the PSUs and private companies should join hands with the government to improve government hospitals, which were the lifeline of the poor.

While top class medical facilities had emerged in the private sector, they were out of the reach of the common man, who still depended on government hospitals, which were lagging behind in facilities and infrastructure, he added.

A similar point was made by eminent jurist V K Krishna Iyer, who said the increasing stress on privatisation of services was not good for the country.

Former Kerala Minister K V Thomas, MLA, who allocated Rs one crore from the MLA Development Fund for the new OP Block, sought Mr Antony's assistance for the completion of the three-storeyed building.

Only the ground floor of the new block, spread over 50,000 sq ft, was opened today. While the district administration had the funds to start construction of the first floor, which would begin shortly, funds were needed to complete the second floor, District Collector M Beena said.

Dr Sebastian Paul, MP, state MLAs K Babu and Ebrahim Kunju and Kochi Mayor Mercy Williams were among those present at the function.

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