CM proposes national cancer institute

Bhubaneswar: Chief minister Naveen Patnaik met Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Tuesday in Delhi to discuss a slew of proposals relating to the upgradation of the health sector in Odisha. Naveen informed Azad that the proposal to raise the number of seats for admission to MBBS Course from 150 to 250, would necessitate significant increase in the infrastructure of the Medical Colleges in the State. He requested that 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 Rs.432 crore for the purpose. He added that the State has identified an alternative site for establishment of a Regional Institute of Paramedical Sciences at Bhubaneswar for which Government of India may sanction the funds forming part of Central Share component.

The CM also informed that Government of Odisha has launched the ‘Odisha State Treatment Fund’ in December, 2011 and released an amount of Rs.10 crore in favour of the Fund Society. He requested that Government of India may also urgently release the Central Share of Rs.5 crore to the said Society. Chief Minister urged upon the Union Minister to appreciate the just needs of the State for augmenting medical infrastructure and creating new specialized medical institutions. He requested the Union Minister to establish a National Cancer Institute at Bhubaneswar and a Regional Geriatric Centre at SCB Medical College, Cuttack. He further informed that State has already identified 20 acres of land for setting up of the Central Research Institute of Yoga and Naturopathy. Accordingly, Government of India may sanction the required funds to enable early establishment of the Institute along with 100 bedded Hospital, at the earliest.

The CM drew the attention of the Union Minister to the directions recently issued by Government of India to the State to restrict to One Mobile Medical Unit per District. He mentioned that such a move will adversely affect the outreach of medical care to over 2.8 million people residing in tribal and inaccessible areas of the State. Chief Minister informed that at present, essential Health Care Services to the most needy in the KBK Districts and other tribal districts are being provided through a network of 354 Mobile Health Units. These Mobile Health Units, having defined route charts, are able to reach out to the remotest areas and villages. He urged upon the Union Minister to allow the continuance of 354 Mobile Health Units under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) in the interest of those residing in vast tribal and inaccessible areas of the State.

The Union Minister assured the Chief Minister that the issues raised by him will receive priority attention of the Ministry. He agreed to provide necessary funds for upgrading the infrastructure of the three Medical Colleges in the State. He suggested that the State may consider increasing the retirement age of teaching faculty to 65 years on the lines of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Kerala to address the problem of shortage of experienced medical faculty. Union Minister promised to take urgent steps for establishing the Regional Institute of Para Medical Sciences at Bhubaneswar. He assured that the Central Share for the Odisha State Treatment Fund shall 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. The Union Minister agreed to establish a Regional Geriatric Centre at SCB Medical College, Cuttack and requested that Government of Odisha may handover the identified 20 acres of land for setting up of Central Research Institute of Yoga and Naturopathy. On the issue of Mobile Health Units, he asked the Union Health Secretary to review the proposal in consultation with the State and take appropriate action for ensuring uninterrupted outreach of medical care to the targeted population during the 12th Plan under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).