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Britain to Explore Opportunities in Bengal Medical Sector

Kolkata: The British Healthcare Mission, a seven-member delegation visiting Kolkata, is exploring opportunities in the healthcare// sector of West Bengal.

The team comprising five British medical service companies came here Monday for an interactive session with health sector players of West Bengal.

"The seminar was held for exploring opportunities of partnership between India and the UK healthcare sector. We are interested to invest in the healthcare services like medical equipment, in knowledge sharing of the recent development in the medical sector, genetic disorder services in Kolkata, medical software, training and overall into the public-private partnership (PPP) venture," said Kevin McCole, deputy head of British Deputy High Commission, Kolkata.

He said Britain's National Health Service (NHS) with an annual budget of $100 billion is also interested to go for PPP ventures with the Indian healthcare system and talks were on with the Indian government and the Planning Commission.

Parminder Sunda, one of the members of the delegation, said that several healthcare organisations of Indian origin were also queuing up to set up hospitals in Britain.

"Almost 20 to 30 organisations have already approached us but nothing has been finalised so far," said Sunda.

He stated that in Britain on an average every patient has to wait six to eight hours to get medical treatment but the target is to reduce the waiting period to two hours by 2010.

"Since we have limited resources we are welcoming other organisations to come and set up their medical units in the UK," Sunda added.

Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals has already been granted permission to establish its new hospital in Britain.

The five companies, which have come to Kolkata for exploring trade investment opportunities, are also going for joint ventures in India.

"We are looking for partnerships here. If anyth ing active can be worked out we will definitely go for investment in West Bengal or we can also set up a manufacturing unit here," said Rob Elles, a member of the team and an expert of genetic healthcare in Britain.


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