Hyderabad: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao Tuesday laid the foundation stone for the southern regional campus of Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), a public-private organization working to strengthen public health system.
The first phase of the project, which comprises of academic and hostel blocks and South Asia Centre for Disability Inclusive Development and Research over 200,000 square feet, with an initial investment of Rs.60 crore, will be ready in two years.
The chief minister announced Rs.10 crore as immediate assistance from the state government for building the campus, which is coming up at Rajendarnagar on the city outskirts.
He also promised to consider the demand that the government provide 50 percent of the estimated cost of the campus.
KCR, as Rao is popularly known, said the government would also consider the suggestion for university status to PHFI.
Noting the government was spending Rs.5,000 crore every year on public health in the state but the system was not at all satisfactory, he called for introspection and for identifying and plugging loopholes and hoped that PHFI would play a key role in this regard.
The chief minister stressed the need for management training to government doctors serving in urban and rural areas to streamline the public health system.
N.R. Narayana Murthy, chairman, Leadership Council, PHFI and founder, Infosys, said PHFI was working to strengthen education, training, research and policy development in public health.
"This institute will be a hub for research and training to advance innovations and provide solutions for improving health service delivery. By integrating information technology and public health, especially drawing on the advantages that the world class IT city Hyderabad has to offer, outreach and effectiveness of health care delivery can be greatly enhanced," he said.
The campus will also be the permanent campus of the Indian Institute of Public Health, (IIPH) Hyderabad, a part of PHFI.
K. Srinath Reddy, president, PHFI said IIPH-Hyderabad will assist the states in the southern region in promoting health and well-being as well strengthening health services.
The institute offers academic programmes and short term training programmes in various disciplines of public health.
The Indian Institutes of Public Health are envisioned as world class public health institutions for responding to public health challenges for the region and the country. Situated in Hyderabad, Gandhinagar, Delhi NCR, Bhubaneswar and Shillong, the institutes function as regional hubs for public health education, training, research and practice.
G.V.S Murthy, director, IIPH-Hyderabad said they would aid government through capacity building and training programmes at various levels to enhance skills and expertise of health personnel, to enable the development of a skilled public health workforce.
"We are planning to start a two year Masters in Public Health in June A2015," he said.