BHUBANESWAR: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday demanded upgradation of three medical colleges in the state to AIIMS status and a cancer institute in Bhubaneswar.
Naveen, who met Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad in New Delhi, said that the proposal to raise the number of seats for admission to MBBS course from 150 to 250 would necessitate significant improvement in the infrastructure of the medical colleges in the State.
Presenting his demands, the Chief Minister said the three medical colleges of the State may be approved for upgradation to AIIMS-like institutions under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) along with sanction of ` 432 crore for the purpose, according to a release here.
The State has identified an alternative site for establishment of a regional institute of paramedical sciences at Bhubaneswar for which the Centre may sanction the funds as part of the Central share, he said.
Naveen informed Azad that the State Government had launched the Odisha State Treatment Fund in December, 2011 and released ` 10 crore for the fund society. He requested the Centre to urgently release ` 5 crore as Centre’s share.
The Chief Minister also requested the Union Minister to establish a regional geriatric centre at SCB Medical College, Cuttack. He informed Azad that the State Government has identified 20 acres of land for setting up the Central Research Institute of Yoga and Naturopathy. He said that the Centre should sanction the required funds for early establishment of the institute along with 100-bed hospital.
Naveen also drew attention of Azad to the directions issued by the Centre recently to the State to restrict to one mobile medical unit per district. He said that such a move will adversely affect outreach of medical care to over 2.3 million people residing in tribal and inaccessible areas of the State.
Azad agreed to provide necessary funds for upgrading the infrastructure of the three medical colleges in the State. He also suggested the State may consider increasing the retirement age of teaching faculty to 65 years on the lines of AIIMS to address the problem of shortage of experienced medical faculty.
The Union Health Minister assured that the Central share for the Odisha State Treatment Fund will be released “very shortly” and that additional funds will be provided for strengthening the Regional Cancer Centre at Cuttack.
Further, the request of Odisha for a stand-alone cancer institute will be considered as and when adequate funds are available for the purpose in the Central budget, he said.