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VIMS inauguration on April 11

Visakhapatnam: The Visakha Institute of Medical Sciences (VIMS) is finally going to see the light of the day as health minister Kamineni Srinivas announced here on Thursday that the hospital will be officially inaugurated on April 11.

Addressing the media on Thursday, the health minister said, “From April 11, VIMS would start operating with the out-patient department (OPD) and a 50-bed trauma care centre. It would be nurtured through NTR Health University, Vijayawada.”

Officer on special duty (OSD) to VIMS Dr PV Sudhakar said the finance department has cleared Rs 75 lakh from which salaries of VIMS staff can be paid. Ten sanitation workers have also joined duty while new security staff for the hospital is still to be recruited. However, drugs and surgical equipment are in place to commence the OPD and a 50-bed emergency from April 11. Later, other specialties and more beds would be added.

 Despite completion of civil works four years ago, VIMS, built at a cost of Rs 55 crore, had been mired in controversy and remained non-operational for patients. Built on 110 acres land on the National Highway 16, the foundation stone for VIMS was laid in 2007. Every few months, the government would announce that VIMS would be ready for inauguration soon but it got delayed inordinately. In 2015, previous VIMS director Dr Subba Rao was suspended and arrested for job fraud following which head of the department of plastic surgery at King George Hospital (KGH) Dr PV Sudhakar was appointed by the government as officer on special duty (OSD).
Meanwhile, referring to the super specialty private hospitals that cater to the NTR Vaidya Seva, the health minister said the hospitals would continue their services and take up Aarogyasri cases. The private network hospitals had decided to stop treating patients under NTR Vaidya Seva scheme from Friday if their pending bills were not cleared by the government. They also demanded revision of package rates and treatment costs, which has not been done since many years. Dr Srinivas said that they would release the arrears by April 15, 2016.
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