Shillong: Chief Minister Mukul Sangma laid the foundation stone for Shillong Medical College on PPP mode at Reid Chest Hospital, Mawbah.
“Establishing infrastructures and taking up projects in PPP mode is a very challenging task for a government as the concept of PPP model is still new for many,” he said.
He, however, added that the state government of Meghalaya has successfully taken up many developmental programmes in the state on PPP mode and that the establishment of a medical college in Shillong and Tura will bridge the shortage of medical professionals while providing better Health facilities to the people of the state.
Dr Sangma admitted the delay, even as he expressed concern over the problem in getting land for various projects, which the state government has to adopt a policy for reciprocating land donors.
Terming the day a “historic one”, the chief minister said, “In 1993 when I first got elected as MLA and talked about the need to have a medical college, some people laughed and told me that we would lose medical quota. Because of such thinking, our students are yet to benefit and have to pursue medical studies outside the state. If others have not done in 45 years of statehood, we are doing it now.”
“How many people have surrendered to diseases because they cannot afford medical treatment,” he asked.
Dr Sangma said a medical college is not only an institutional for aspiring students who wish to become medical professionals but also a centre with the entire wherewithal to assist the government and the policy makers in respect of all the challenges associated with Healthcare sector and also medical colleges are the tertiary referral centers.
“Having such medical colleges in our own state will not compel our beloved people to travel to Delhi, Vellore or Chennai for tertiary health care,” he said. “It is not just for medical students but for a comprehensive health care system that we need to put in place for our people,” he informed.
Dr Sangma said a new strategy for giving treatment has to be adopted and doctors and nurses need to equip themselves with knowledge and skill while treating and taking care of patients.
He expressed hope and with the coming up the medical colleges in Shillong and Tura the challenge of providing space for competent young men and women who want to become medical professionals will be addressed while providing access to better health care facilities for the people.
Stating that 110 specialists yet to be filled up and lack of manpower for providing healthcare services, Mukul said that the question of having bonded and non-bonded doctors would not arise in the years to come after more medical colleges are established.
In Meghalaya, bonded doctors are those pursuing medical studies on government quota outside the state, while non-bonded are those pursuing on their own.