Assam Health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday said three medical colleges and hospitals will be constructed across the state over the next three years at an investment of Rs 570 crore. “In construction of the three medical colleges and hospitals in Dhubri, Nagaon and Lakhimpur, we will spend Rs 570 crore. The amount will be divided equally among the three hospitals,” Sarma said at a press conference at Guwahati.
He said 90 per cent of the amount would be funded by the Centre and the rest would be borne by the state. “For the Medical Council of India inspection, we will have to upgrade the hospitals in the second phase. For that, we will require another Rs 40-45 crore in each hospital. This amount will be financed entirely by the state government,” Sarma said.
Land in all the three places has been acquired and the institutions would be ready in the next three years, he said. Union Health Minister J P Nadda would launch the construction work for the hospitals in Dhubri and Nagaon during his two-day tour to the state from Friday, Sarma said adding, “all three hospitals will be 500-bedded”.
The minister said an additional Rs 25 crore have been spent for acquiring 60 bighas of land for Dhubri Medical College and Hospital. Likewise, around Rs ten crore has been invested for purchasing 50 bighas of land in Lakhimpur.
“In Nagaon, we did not purchase any land. Government already has enough land and the hospital will be constructed on a 100 bigha plot,” Sarma said. He said work for three more medical colleges at Nalbari, Tinsukia and Kokrajhar would begin by the end of this year.
“The ongoing construction for the Diphu Medical College and Hospital will be over by this year and we will inaugurate it in 2017,” Sarma said. Regarding setting up of the AIIMS at Changsari in Assam, he said the state government has submitted an affidavit in the National Green Tribunal after a complaint was filed opposing the construction work on the allotted land.
The Union Health Minister would also inaugurate the new 200-bedded super speciality cancer hospital under Gauhati Medical College and Hospital tomorrow, he said. “The cancer hospital is the first one under the state government and Rs 85.78 crore was spent in establishing it. Academically it will be under the GMCH, but it will function as an autonomous institute administratively,” he said.
The government had started setting up the cancer hospital in 2009, but it missed several deadlines of inauguration. Sarma said the state was trying to get it recognised as a State Cancer Hospital, which would pave way for getting a Rs 120 crore grant from the Centre for upgrading it further in the second phase.
For the first time in the North East, Assam would have the latest PET-CT (Positron Emission Tomography-Computed Tomography) scan machine worth around Rs 32 crore in the cancer hospital, he said. Besides, the hospital would house linear accelerator (LINAC) and Cobalt therapy machines among other latest equipments for treating the disease. In July last year, Sarma had said in the state Assembly that over 90,000 cancer patients were detected during the last five years in the state.