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NBMCH plan for new units

Siliguri, Aug. 18: An advisory committee of the health department has said north Bengal hospitals lack super speciality facilities for cardiology and neurosurgery and the government is planning to set up such units at North Bengal Medical College and Hospital.

Members of the multi-disciplinary expert group visited hospitals in Kurseong, Kalimpong, Darjeeling, Siliguri, Cooch Behar, Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar since Friday.

The group is a state level advisory committee formed to provide recommendations to the health department to upgrade infrastructure and set up critical care facilities at hospitals across the state. Subrata Maitra is the chairman of the panel.

“At present, there are no hospitals in north Bengal which can provide super-speciality treatments in cardiology and neurosurgery. So, patients requiring invasive treatment have no other option but to go to Calcutta or visit south India. NBMCH is the sole referral hospital in north Bengal and it should have infrastructure and expertise to conduct neurosurgery and cardio-thoracic surgery. We are planning to set up a cardiac unit, cardio-thoracic surgery unit and neurosurgery unit at the hospital,” Maitra, a cardiologist and a critical care expert based in Calcutta, said at NBMCH yesterday.

Sources said although NBMCH had departments of cardiology and neurology, no surgeries were conducted there. The medical college lacks designated ward for the two departments and patients with ailments are admitted to the medicine wards.

However, the medical college has an Intensive Coronary Care Unit that started in December 2010.

Maitra said the government had started the process of establishing Critical Care Units at hospitals in north Bengal as part of a plan to decentralise health care in the region.

The CCUs at the Darjeeling district hospital and NBMCH, too,will be expanded Maitra said.

“A 20-bed emergency observation unit will also be started at NBMCH,” he added.