Sikkim gets India's '2nd biggest' govt hospital
Sikkim on Monday took a giant leap in the sphere of healthcare with the inauguration of a 1,002-bed hospital and foundation laying of the first government medical college at Sochaygang near here.
Chief minister Pawan Chamling inaugurated the New Sir Thutob Namgyal Memorial Multi-Speciality Hospital and claimed it was the second biggest healthcare facility in the country after the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi.
Spread over 15 acres of land, the first phase of the Sochaygang hospital was built at a cost of Rs 830 crore and took nine years to complete. The overall cost of the project will be Rs 1,281 crore.
Inaugurating the mega hospital, Chamling said it was the landmark achievement of his over 24-year-old government.
“After AIIMS in Delhi, this is the biggest government hospital in the country. Our government has created history,” he said.
The main block of the hospital can withstand earthquakes measuring eight on the Richter scale and is a 10-storied building with a total built-up area of 46886sqm. The block has as many as 13 lifts and houses all general, surgical and speciality departments and 23 different operation theatres.
Chamling said the 100-year-old Sir Thutob Namgyal Memorial Hospital located in the heart of the capital would be shifted to the new hospital by the end of this month.
“The new hospital should be fully operational by February 1,” he said. The government has already appointed 47 regular doctors and 261 nurses for the hospital, and is in the process of appointing super specialists, specialists and paramedics.
The hospital is equipped with highly-sophisticated equipment, including MRI, CT scanners, orthopantomogram machine and Doppler fetal monitor, among others.
“All kinds of treatment can be done at the hospital. No one will have to go outside for treatment. They will not have to travel to Delhi or Calcutta. They can receive world class treatment in their own place,” the chief minister said.
Since the hospital is located 3km from Gangtok town, eight buses will operate round the clock to ferry patients and attendants to and from the facility free of cost.
“I am confident the hospital will also help the people from neighbouring regions, including Darjeeling, north Bengal and the Northeast,” he said.
The chief minister said the hospital would provide free treatment to the residents of the state. The complex also has a 119-bed Yatri Niwas with a restaurant for attendants of patients where Sikkim residents will be given free accommodation and food.
Earlier, Chamling laid the foundation stone of the first government medical college which will be constructed at a cost of about Rs 556 crore over 8.5 acres adjacent to the new hospital.
The college complex, which is expected to be completed in three years, will have administrative block, teachers’ quarters, nurses’ quarters, residents’ quarters and boys and girls hostels.
“We are trying to start classes of the medical college at the old STNM Hospital from June. The government has given its approval. The college will take in 100 students every year,” said Vishal Chauhan, the commissioner-cum-secretary of the state health department.