Both Congress and BJP have strongly opposed Telangana government's move to shift Chest Hospital from Erragadda in Hyderabad to VIkarabad of Ranga Reddy district, 80 km away. Lamenting this decision as inhuman and thoughtless act, they demanded to continue the hospital in the present venue.
TPCC vice-president Mohammed Ali Shabbir and former MP M Ravi said that the decision was arbitrary and demanded to withdraw it immediately. Former minister Shabbir Ali said that the decision was autocratic and inhuman. He added Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao was acting like a monarch.
Saying the decision will hurt thousands of patients and employees, Ali added the 670-bed hospital gets nearly 200 patients suffering from breathing or respiratory problems and an equal number of HIV patients with TB co-infection on daily basis. It also houses a 100-bedded facility for HIV patients, which is one of its kind in India, Ali said.
He said that patients with Tuberculosis, Asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Pneumonia, Lung Cancer, Swine Flu (H1N1) and also HIV would face inconvenience if the hospital was shifted. "How could the government expect patients suffering from serious respiratory disorders to travel 70 km to get treatment?" he asked, adding that almost all patients who visit TB & Chest Hospital were poor. Travelling to Vikarabad for treatment would not only deteriorate their health, but most of them would be forced to discontinue treatment midway due their inability to bear travelling cost, he said.
He said that the hospital would lose 11 PG seats in Pulmonology which were recently permitted by the Medical Council of India. Further, as per the MCI rules, a teaching hospital should be located within 8 km radius of medical college. Therefore, the Osmania Medical College would be deprived of 11 PG seats due by this move. The Congress leader said the Chief Minister was initially planning to convert the hospital land into parade ground. Now he wants to construct a new Secretariat. "The present Secretariat building will be half empty once Andhra Pradesh government shifts to its new capital.
Therefore, there is no need for a new Secretariat building," he said rejecting the Chief Minister's proposal to construct high-rise buildings in the place of present Secretariat. He alleged that the Chief Minister was taking autocratic decisions citing ridiculous reasons. The Congress senior leader demanded that the State government should modify the GO RT no 61 to drop the proposal of shifting TB & Chest Hospital. However, he said that the administrative sanction of Rs 7.70 crore for repairs and modernisation of TB Sanatorium at Vikarabad should be honoured.
Meanwhile, taking a dig at KCR, BJP senior leader and former minister Nagam Janardhan Reddy said the thinking of the Chief Minister was reminding him of the infamous Tuglak regime. He also alleged that the Telangana ministers were not able to take own decisions due to the dictatorial attitude of KCR. Congress party official spokesperson M Ravi said in a press release that the hospital was built by Nizam. He said that the decision was taken without consulting political parties, doctors and health experts.