In a bid to give fillip to health services in poverty-stricken KBK region of Odisha, the State government has proposed to establish 19 hospitals in 18 districts on public-private partnership mode.The Empowered Committee on Infrastructure, which met under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi here on Monday, decided to set up new quality care hospitals mostly in KBK (Kalahandi Balangir and Koraput) and KBK+ districts like Boudh, Kandhamal and Gajapati.“It was proposed to establish 19 hospitals in 18 districts chosen on the parameters of backwardness in health indicators. These hospitals would be of two categories. One type would be 100-bedded and another type would be 200-bedded,” said State Health Secretary P.K. Meherda.Sops galore“The government would provide land at concessional rate and other infrastructural facilities and the tariff of treatment in these hospitals would be decided by the government. The private parties would make necessary investments for setting up the hospitals and they would bring in more specialists and clinical professionals,” the Health Secretary informed. The State government organised an investors’ conference to get inputs from interested parties regarding the feasibility of the project and the methods of its operation. Around 71 organisations participated in the event and expressed interest to invest in the project.Sources in the Health Department said the project would create direct employment opportunity for 9,500 people while total private sector investment would be around ₹1,150 crore.