West Bengal to have nine more medical colleges

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Updated: July 08, 2015 4:55 PM

To add 17000 new beds, signs MoU with SingHealth

To add 17000 new beds, signs MoU with SingHealth

In a major bid to improve healthcare infrastructure in West Bengal, the state government plans to add 17,000 new beds soon. Disclosing this to Express Healthcare, Malay Kumar De, the state’s Principal Secretary, Department of Health & Family Welfare said, “We plan to operationalise 17000 new beds soon”.

“The number of beds will be upgraded from an existing 67,000 to 80,000 by this year itself,” informed De. On the medical education front, the State plans to set up nine new medical colleges taking its tally to 26, which De claims will be one of the highest in the country as per the given parameters. MCI stipulates that there should be one medical college for a population of five million, West Bengal, with a population of 95 million, will have 26 colleges, which is much above the stipulated mark.

Five out of these nine colleges will be government colleges and the rest four will be set up under the private-public-partnership (PPP) model. The nine medical colleges will be established in Cooch Behar, Bhangar, Raiganj, Dhubulia, Rampurhat, Kurseong, Purulia and Diamond Harbour.

For the government medical colleges, the district hospitals will be upgraded to full-fledged medical colleges. The State government’s total investment in this project will be to the tune of Rs 1,000 crores, De informed.

De said that the State government would be soon setting up a Public Health Institute at Kalyani in Nadia district of the state. Kolkata has a Central Government run All India Institute of Hygiene & Public Health.

De also said that the government is heavily investing in the State’s health infrastructure and the scope of cardiac care and cancer care would be enhanced in the State-run hospitals in the coming months. “The Chief Minister has already announced free treatment for the EWS section of the society at State-run hospitals,” De said.

He said that infrastructure for cardiac and cancer care and surgery would be upgraded in the State-run hospitals and the government would be procuring medical equipment like linear accelerators, cath lab, surgical implants, etc to the tune of Rs 250 crores.

De explained that West Bengal has a very healthy total fertility rate (TFR) which is the lowest in the country at 1.6, while it is 1.2 in Kolkata. Hence, the population growth in the State is very low. He added that post 2031, the State’s population will start decreasing which will make the health infrastructure sufficient.

However, consequently there will be a larger percentage of senior population and providing geriatric care to these senior citizens would be a challenge in the coming days. He informed that the efforts by the government towards better ‘mother & child care’ facilities has culminated in a substantial drop of MMR (113) and IMR (35).

De urged private investors to come and invest in the State. and assured them all possible help and speedy clearances of their proposals/projects under the State’s ‘Clinical Establishment Act’. He said that the Act will be amended and a new Act will come into force shortly, which will further benefit private healthcare units in the State.

In another major development, the Department of Health & Family Welfare, Government of West Bengal has signed a MoU with SingHealth of Singapore for technical support and training of its healthcare personnel like doctors and nurses. SingHealth has a network of two hospitals, five national specialty centres and nine polyclinics.

EH News Bureau

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