The Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Government of Assam, Dr. Himanta Biswa Sama announced on Saturday (26th September, 2020), that a huge sum of Rs. 140 crore will be spent for ramping up the health infrastructure at Silchar Medical College & Hospital (SMCH). The announcement was made by the Minister while inaugurating a 40-bedded ICU and a 40-bedded COVID Care at SMCH.
Dr. Sarma proclaimed the day, to be a “red letter day” for SMCH as in addition to the inauguration of the 40-bedded ICU and the 40-bedded COVID Care, the Minister has laid down foundation stone of six other projects, which include a 500-bedded Emergency Hospital at a cost of Rs. 96.05 crore. Dr. Sarma has also informed that the infrastructure will be extended to increase the number of MBBS seats from 100 to 150 at a cost of Rs. 45.86 crore.
In addition to that, it was also announced that a level 2 cancer hospital is being built at an estimated cost of around Rs. 133 crore. Dr. Sarma informed that an additional 15 cancer hospitals will be coming up in different districts of the states in a period of 2 years. “The new cancer hospitals coming up, will be run by a professional set up, that include TATA Trust, Government of Assam and Assam Care Foundation”, the minister stated.
Besides, Dr. Sarma revealed that, after the construction of the 500-bedded Emergency Hospital gets completed, renovation works will be carried out in the old buildings of SMCH. Thus, SMCH will be converted into a super speciality hospital. The minister further announced that the 100 year old SM Dev Civil Hospital in Silchar, will be demolished and a 300-bedded new hospital will substitute it. The budget for this project is around Rs. 40 crore to Rs.50 crore. It has also been informed that the new hospital will be an annexe hospital of SMCH. “Converting the new hospital into an annexe hospital will help in decongest the SMCH as PG students will then have to render their services at the Civil Hospital”, Dr. Sarma said, adding that the foundation stone will be laid either in November or December.
Dr. Sarma has urged the elderly people of the area to undergo Rapid Antigen Test for COVID-19. He stated, “The 59 deaths would not have happened, if the elderly and aged citizens had come to the hospital for treatment on time.” The Minister further added, “Those having COVID like symptoms such as fever, cough, cold, diarrhoea, to name a few, must report immediately to the Hospital for the earliest possible treatment.” The minister assured people that the patients will be sent back to home as healthy individuals, if this suggestion is followed.
Dr. Sarma has then appealed to the people to wear masks and practice social distancing & personal hygiene. “We are still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the battle is far from over. All COVID-19 protocols must be strictly adhered to, until and unless a vaccine is produced”, the minister informed. Cachar Chronicles urges the citizens to abide by all the COVID-19 protocols, as even the production of vaccine may not be a solution because the distribution is an area of concern as well.
Thanking the frontline workers including doctors, health workers, drivers, cleaners, civil and police administrators, the Minister informed that Assam has topped the chart so far in conducting swab tests, delivering results, offering free treatment to the COVID-19 patients and providing the patients with the most advanced medicines.
Dr. Sarma has said that the state has come a long way in developing the health infrastructure and man power, from a position of vaccilation at the initial stage of the pandemic to a position of strength. “If we can carry on the legacy with such steely resolve and dedication, we can rise up to be a model for everyone”, Dr. Sarma quoted.
The Member of Parliament from Silchar, Dr. Rajdeep Roy stated that the SMCH has grown by a large extent, since its establishment in 1968. Dr. Roy has thanked Dr. Sarma for treating the pandemic as an opportunity to improve the health infrastructure at SMCH, including other medical colleges and health institutions across tha state of Assam.
The Deputy Commissioner of Cachar, Keerthi Jalli, IAS has stated that, whenever crisis or adversities arrive, they bring with them, opportunities to improve, that one should manipulate, to make the best out of the bad situation. “This has been best exemplified by the Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Government of Assam, Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, through his strong determination, preservance, tenacity and deliverance, in terms of ramping up the health infrastructure in such a short period of time”, Jalli quoted. She announced that the new infrastructure at SMCH will initiate a new chapter in the annuals of the Medical College. The Deputy Commissioner has also urged the citizens to strictly abide by all the COVID-19 protocols in order to ensure a win in this battle against this invisible enemy.
Earlier during the program, the Principal of Silchar Medical College & Hospital, Dr. Babul Kumar Bezabaruah, in his welcome speech, said that, the hospital is in a remarkable position in the entire Northeast region, thanks to the development from 4 ICU beds, to 16 and now, another newly added 40 in the tally. Dr. Bezabaruah announced that a total of 20 health workers will be working in each shift, making it 60 per day, which includes faculties of medicines, anesthesiology, nodal officer and faculties of other departments. The principal further informed that the recent induction of 16 ICU technicians and 29 critical care nurses has largely improved the management of COVID-19 patients, admitted in the ICU.
In addition to that, Dr. Bezabaruah informed that a liquid oxygen plant has been sanctioned at a cost of Rs. 1.33 crore. Moreover, an oxygen generation plant is going to come up at a cost of Rs. 5.46 crore and a cardiac cathlab is in the pipeline as well. Beisdes, a power substation will come up at SMCH and the APDCL has already released a sum of Rs. 3.58 crore for this purpose.
The notable personalities, who were present during the occasion were Commissioner and Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Anurag Goel; MP, Karimganj, Kripanath Malla; MLAs, Dilip Paul, Kishor Nath, Mihir Kanti Shome and Amar Chand Jain; OSD to Minister PWD, Jyotish Sarma, among many others.