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Medical college for Baripada
- Centre to upgrade VSS & MKCG, says Ghulam Nabi Azad

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik and Union health minister Gulam Nabi Azad (next to Naveen) look on at a patient in AIIMS Bhubaneswar on Wednesday. Picture by Ashwinee Pati

Bhubaneswar, Feb. 26: The district headquarters hospital at Baripada in Mayurbhanj will be upgraded to a medical college and hospital with central assistance.

Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad made the announcement while speaking at the formal inaugural ceremony of AIIMS Bhubaneswar here.

Last week, the Centre had announced to upgrade district hospitals in Balasore, Balangir and Koraput to medical colleges and hospitals. The decision had followed widespread protests in Mayurbhanj and the district town had observed a 12-hour shutdown on Monday. To assuage the local feelings, chief minister Naveen Patnaik had announced that the state government would set up a medical college and hospital in Baripada from its own resources.

Azad also announced that two government-run medical colleges — VSS Medical College and Hospital in Burla and the MKCG Medical College and Hospital in Berhampur — would also be upgraded to super-specialty hospitals with central assistance, as part of the Upgrade of Medical Institutions Programme under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana. The two will be among the 39 medical colleges in the country that will be upgraded.

The Centre will spend Rs 150 crore to upgrade each institution. According to the provisions, the central government would provide Rs 125 crore of the estimates and the state government would bear the remaining expenditure.

“The upgrade is being done considering the backwardness of the state. Hopefully, this will help in decline of infant mortality rate and the maternal mortality ratio in the state,” he said.

Azad also announced that a state-level cancer institute in Cuttack and two regional cancer institutes in Sambalpur and Berhampur would be set up.

Union minister of state for chemicals and fertilisers Srikant Jena announced that the state government would set up a generic medicine store (Jan Aushaddhi store) on the campus of AIIMS Bhubaneswar, if the authorities provided the required space.

Naveen urged the Centre to consider the state’s proposal to set up nursing and other paramedical institutions in the state.

As part of the inaugural event, AIIMS Bhubaneswar today launched the e-health card, a smart card that would store the data of patients’ ailment and treatment history. The card is part of a uniform hospital information management system, which will be implemented in six AIIMS in the country.

The bar-coded e-health card will be introduced in a phased manner for employees of AIIMS Bhubaneswar, chronic patients and general public. “In the first phase, about 10,000 to 20,000 cards will be distributed,” said AIIMS director A.K. Mahapatra.

“We hope that one card will be accepted in all six AIIMS institutions,” he said.

The AIIMS Bhubaneswar has decided to set up advance centres in four disciplines such as the advanced centre for mental health and neurosciences, advanced cardiac centre, oncology centre and transplant institute with an estimated budget of Rs 100 crore.

Mahapatra said the proposed extended campus of AIIMS Bhubaneswar in Balasore would have a 200-bed hospital in the first phase and subsequently in the second phase the hospital will be converted into a super-specialty health facility. The AIIMS Bhubaneswar has a proposal to set up health centres at Mendhasal and Tangi.


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