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HomeNewsExperts propose preservation plan for Osmania General Hospital amid demolition debate

Experts propose preservation plan for Osmania General Hospital amid demolition debate

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Osmania General Hospital in Hyderabad.

Osmania General Hospital in Hyderabad.
| Photo Credit: RAMAKRISHNA G.

Experts from various fields, including architecture, history, and medicine, gathered at Lamakaan in Banjara Hills here on Sunday for a debate concerning the conservation of Osmania General Hospital (OGH) building. During the event, attendees discussed the importance of preserving the historical landmark and its potential impact on the healthcare system.

A key suggestion proposed during the debate was to pursue a public-private partnership approach to save OGH. Under this model, a private party would take responsibility for renovating and conserving the heritage building for the next three to four decades, while the government could focus on constructing a new hospital elsewhere. The suggested location for the new hospital was a 150-acre area of Chanchalguda jail, with 25 acres allocated for the new facility, which would accommodate 4,500 beds and require an estimated cost of ₹2,000 crore.

Several experts presented their viewpoints and plans, emphasising that demolishing the heritage building was unnecessary.

Conservation architect G.S.V. Satyanarayana Murthy put forward a comprehensive report on expanding the hospital while preserving the heritage structure. His proposal included repurposing the heritage building as the main administrative and teaching facility, with new extension blocks for in-patient and out-patient services and nursing hostels. He stressed the importance of protecting the heritage building’s walls and foundations by constructing a stone apron and implementing a rainwater harvesting system.

Mr.Murthy also highlighted the need for materials used in renovation to be consistent with the building’s historic culture. Moreover, he emphasised the significance of maintaining connectivity with the rest of the campus through careful planning and design of physical connections like bridges and ramps.

Oncologist at MNJ Institute of Oncology C.Sairam brought the perspective of healthcare professionals into the discussion. He emphasised the critical role of OGH and its peripheral hospitals, which together form the second largest group of hospitals globally, following Harvard. These hospitals offer a wide range of super-specialties and provide exceptional medical care to the population of Telangana and neighbouring states.

Dr.Sairam also raised concerns about the disruptions caused to patient services due to prolonged court battles. He urged the judiciary to consider the needs of less privileged patients while making their judgment on the conservation of the heritage building.

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