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Odisha seeks early clearance for five medical colleges

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
New Delhi, May 8:

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today urged Union Health and Family Welfare minister Jagat Prasad Nadda for early clearance of the detailed project reports (DPR) along with estimates submitted by the Odisha government for setting up of five new medical colleges in the state.

NAVEEN NADDA

During a meeting in New Delhi, the Chief Minister requested the Union minister for early approval of 75% (Rs 1873 crore) of the Central share for construction of the five medical colleges proposed to be set up at Koraput, Bolangir, Puri, Baleswar and Baripada at a projected cost of Rs 2450.90 crore.

Stressing the need to have a Super Specialty Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences at Cuttack on the lines of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru to cater to the need of the entire eastern region, Patnaik said the state government had identified 18.33 acres of land for the purpose at Ramdaspur in Barang tehsil in Cuttack district.

He also apprised the Union minister of the urgent need to strengthen the Drug Regulatory System in the state, including setting up of a Drug Testing Laboratory at Sambalpur, and requested him to approve the project proposal costing Rs.56.35 crore early.

Besides, the Chief Minister also informed that the state government had decided to allot an acre of land in Khordha district for setting up of Central Cosmetic Testing Laboratory which needs early sanction to facilitate testing of cosmetics manufactured in Odisha and the entire eastern region including Jharkhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Assam.

Stating that the state government has handed over physical possession of 10 acres of land in Bhubaneswar to Hindustan Lifecare LTD (HLL) for setting up of a Regional Institute of Para Medical Sciences, Patnaik requested the Union minister to consider the revised cost in the range of Rs 150-180 crore and take necessary steps to expedite construction of this project.

Patnaik also underscored the need for upgradation of the existing Regional Centre, Cuttack and State Cancer Institute, and assistance to other medical colleges, including the two government-run medical colleges at Burla and Brahmapur, and District Headquarters Hospital (DHH), Bhawanipatna to enhance the tertiary cancer care facilities in the state.

Informing the Union minister that the state government has already submitted the DPR proposals to the Centre, the Chief Minister requested the Union minister to sanction one-time financial assistance of Rs 120 crore for the State Cancer Institute and of Rs 45 crore for each of the tertiary cancer care centres.

Reminding the Union minister that the state government  has handed over physical possession of 20 acres of land in Khorda district for setting up of the Central Institute of Yoga and Naturopathy, he urged him to expedite the establishment of the Central Research Institute.

Pointing out that the limited grant of Rs 5 crore provided under Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN) was inadequate to meet the increasing demand of Odisha State Treatment Fund Society (OSTFS), which has been providing financial assistance to poor families for treatment of life threatening diseases and disorders since December, 2011, Patnaik requested the Union minister to consider raising the grant to Rs 10 crore per annum.

He also demanded continuation of the approved Project Implementation Plan for 2015-16 for National Health Mission in the existing sharing pattern of 75:25 Central:State share without any dilution.

In his reply, the Union minister assured Patnaik that all the proposals of the state would receive priority attention and that every effort shall be made to provide adequate funds for strengthening the health care infrastructure and services in the state.

He said the Health ministry has been deliberating with the Finance ministry for seeking additional Central assistance for interventions in these vital health sectors.