40-bedded ICU, COVID Ward inaugurated ‘Rs.140 crore to be spent for ramping up infrastructure at SMC&H’ says Himanta

Silchar, Sept.26: A whopping Rs.140 crore will be spent for ramping up the health infrastructure at Silchar Medical College and Hospital.This was disclosed by Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Dr.Himanta Biswa Sarma while inaugurating a 40-bedded ICU and 40-bedded COVID Ward here on Saturday.

Speaking at a function at SMC&H auditorium, Dr.Sarma said that it was a red letter day for SMC&H that a new ICU and a COVID Care Ward have been opened together with laying of foundation stone of six projects that included a 500 bedded Emergency Hospital at a cost of Rs.96.05 crore and infrastructure for increasing the number of MBBS seats from 100 to 150 at a cost of Rs.45.86 crore.

Dr.Sarma said together with new state-of-the-art infrastructure coming up and those added to SMC&H, a level 2 Cancer Hospital is being built at an estimated cost of Rs.133 crore. The Minister revealed that besides the Cancer Hospital, another 15 cancer hospitals are coming up in different districts of the state within two 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 said once the 500-bedded Emergency Hospital is completed, major renovation of the old buildings of SMC&H will be undertaken and that this will converted into super speciality hospital.Dr.Sarma also disclosed that the 100-year-old District Civil Hospital which is in a dilapidated condition would be dismantled and in its place a 300-bedded hospital will come up involving around 40 to 50 crore.

The Minister pointed out that the new civil hospital would be made an annexe hospital of SMC&H. “Converting the civil hospital into an annexe hospital would help to decongest the SMC&H as PG students would have to render their services at the civil hospital,” Dr.Sarma said, adding that the foundation stone would be laid sometime either in November or December.

Making an impassioned plea to the people of Cachar district, especially elderly to undergo Rapid Antigen Test, Dr.Sarma said, “The 59 deaths would not have happened if the elderly and aged have come forward to the hospital on time for treatment. Those having COVID like symptoms like fever, cough and cold, diarrhoea must report to the hospital for early treatment. I assure you that we will send them back home healthy,” quipped Dr.Sarma.

Appealing to the people to wear masks, maintain social distancing and personal hygiene, Dr.Sarma said, “We are still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the battle against the pandemic is far from over. All COVID-19 protocols have to be strictly adhered to till a vaccine is produced.” Dr.Sarma said Assam is second to none insofar as total swab testing, deliverance of results, free treatment and providing most advanced medicine is concerned and thanked the doctors, health workers, drivers, cleaners, civil and police administrations for rendering sincere and dedicated services during the pandemic situation.

The Minister said from a position of vacillation at the initial stage of the COVID pandemic to a position to strength, the state has come a long way in augmenting the health infrastructure and manpower. “If we can carry on the legacy with such steely resolve and dedication, we can be a model for everyone to look at with awe and wonder,” said Dr.Sarma.

MP, Silchar, Dr.Rajdeep Roy said the SMC&H has grown by leaps and bounds since it’s establishment way back in 1968 and profusely thanked the Health Minister for “seizing the opportunity during the adverse pandemic times and converting into opportunity by ramping up the health infrastructure at SMC&H and other medical colleges and health Institutions across the state.’

Deputy Commissioner, Cachar, Keerthi Jalli said whenever one is confronted with a crisis or adversity, opportunity also comes along with that and that has to be grabbed with both hands to make the best out of the bad situation. Jalli said this has been best exemplified by none other Minister for Health, Dr.Himanta Biswa Sarma, through his dogged determination, perseverance, tenacity and deliverance in terms of sprucing the health infrastructure in a short span of time.

She said the new infrastructure at SMC&H will herald a new chapter in the annals of the medical college. Jalli urged everyone to follow religiously the COVID-19 protocols in the fight against corona.Earlier, in his welcome address, Principal, SMC&H, Dr.Babul Kumar Bezbaruah said from only four ICU beds to 16 and now another newly added 40 beds for treatment of COVID patients, the hospital is in a remarkable position in the entire North East Region.

Dr.Bezbaruah said that 20 numbers of health care workers would be involved per shift making it 60 per day which include faculties of medicine, anesthesiology, nodal officer and faculties of other departments. The Principal said that the newly induction of 16 ICU technicians and 29 critical care nurses have bolstered the management of COVID patients admitted at ICU.

As for projects on the anvil, Dr.Bezbaruah revealed that a liquid oxygen plant has been sanctioned at a cost of Rs.1.33 crore, an oxygen generation plant at a cost of Rs.5.46 crore and a cardiac cathlab . A power substation will come up at the medical college for which Rs.3.58 crore has been already released to APDCL.

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 and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

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