SAIL Employees Cooperative Credit Society has set up a hospital using a part of its surplus funds at Kalikapur in South 24 Parganas district of the state.

Secretary of the 2,600-member cooperative Jyotirmoy Chakraborty said that the hospital has been set up at a cost of around Rs 22 crore.

He said the South 24 Parganas was chosen for the hospital as it was one of the most neglected districts in terms of healthcare in the country.

"Ispat Cooperative Hospital will serve the people of the Sunderbans and nearby areas, most of whom are economically backward," he told PTI.

Initially the hospital will have 100 beds, which would be doubled within a span of two years.

"This is the first time that an employees cooperative has ventured into the healthcare sector. We are lucky that our members, SAIL employees, have supported the cooperative in taking the plunge", he said.

Besides in-patients, the hospital would have day-care facilities, modern OTs, mother and child care unit, pharmacy, and state-of-the-art diagnostic services.

"Plans are there to set up a nursing college and para-medical training centre as well," Chakraborty said.

The hospital would also help people who have to depend now on quacks in case of snakebites.

The facility would be thrown open to the public on April 15, Bengali New Year Day.