Staff of the Ministry of Health, including professors and ‘black ribbon’ doctors have signed a petition calling for a complete halt to the long-term lease of a large plot owned by the ministry in front of the University of Nursing at the corner of Bogyoke Aung San and Pyay roads in downtown Yangon for a private hospital.

Leaflets condemning the lease have been distributed to medical doctors, and plans are underway to collect signatures from the entire staff of the ministry as well as medical students.

“We are now collecting as many signatures as possible. There are two reasons we oppose the plan. Many public hospitals cannot afford to provide sufficient space, treatment or services to patients. Under the current circumstances, even building more hospitals is not enough. Leasing out the land for a private hospital is unacceptable. Another point is that the site should be used for a teaching hospital so that medical students can learn. This is why we oppose the plan. Within one week, we will collect signatures,” said Dr Alinka, a participant in the petition campaign.

Copies of the petition will reportedly be sent to the president, both houses of parliament, the Yangon Region parliament, the commander-in-chief of defence services, the National League for Democracy, the local NLD township office, the Health Ministry, the Anti-corruption Commission and the Commission for the Assessment of Legal Affairs and Special Issues.

An open letter was recently sent to the parliament explaining that the land was leased to Win Aung from Dagon International Ltd and Aung Moe Kyaw from IBTC, who are preparing to start building the Parkway Yangon Hospital in partnership with the Singapore-based Parkway Group.

The letter also pointed out that the Japanese government offered to build a public hospital on the same plot, but the concerned authorities would only give up half of the site for the project. The plot is situated near the University of Medicine, the University of Nursing and the new Yangon General Hospital, making it a suitable location for an international-standard teaching hospital, the letter said.

The monthly rental rate for the 4.3-acre plot is Ks 181 per square foot, according to the Myanmar Investment Commission.

The Parkway Yangon Hospital project is a collaboration between the Singapore-based Parkway Hospital Group and the domestic Andaman Alliance Healthcare Ltd. The project reportedly has a capital investment of US$80 million.

Link: http://www.elevenmyanmar.com/local/health-professionals-protest-lease-public-land-private-hospital