Proposed upgradation of Jalpaiguri Hospital into Medical College Creates Controversy
Kolkata: With the Banerjee government complaining of being kept in the dark about the upgradation of district hospital to Government Medical College (GMC), a major controversy has erupted in the state.
According to a recent report by IANS, the clash came to light after Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan's letter to state BJP president Dilip Ghosh intimating him of the decision to build up the GMC; made the news.
In his letter to Ghosh, Dr Vardhan stated that the Government of India has sanctioned opening of a new government medical college by upgrading the Jalpaiguri district hospital in West Bengal. It also claimed with the college set to come up, "there will be a massive improvement of healthcare facilities in North Bengal".
Apparently taken by surprise, the state government hit out at the Centre for "bypassing" it while taking the decision.
"We had sent such a proposal to the Centre long back. But we have not been officially intimated about the sanction. I am totally in the dark. How can the Centre announce a decision to upgrade a district hospital under the control of the state government without informing us?... Unless you discuss with the state government you can never implement the decision pertaining to such an important district hospital," said minister of state for health Chandrima Bhattacharya. Chief Minister Banerjee holds the health portfolio.
Likewise, State minister and legislator from Jalpaiguri's Deb accused the BJP of assaulting federal structure causing the collapse of the constitutional framework after being elected by the same Constitution and stated to IANS, "I am totally confused as to how a government medical college will be built and run under his leadership".
Notwithstanding the criticism, Ghosh stressed that the state getting a medical college is the moot point and government has either been informed or will be intimated about it. "And why are they so surprised? Our government has taken a decision, and informed me. That''s all. I have repeatedly appealed to the union government for establishing the medical college. The Jalpaiguri MP has also done so," he said.
Taking a dig at the CM's government, Ghosh stated that it has been a regular practice for the Mamata Banerjee government to claim credit for all central projects.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that moving towards its goal of having a medical college in every three districts, the PM Modi led Cabinet Committee has decided to 75 new GMCs will be established. This would be done via setting up of medical colleges to be attached with existing district/referral hospitals under Phase-III of the ongoing Centrally Sponsored scheme.
The decision noted that new medical colleges would be set up in under-served areas having no medical college; with at least 200 bedded District Hospital. Preference will be given to Aspirational Districts and District Hospital has 300 beds.
All in all, the schemes on the establishment of new 75 medical colleges would lead to the addition of at least 15,700 MBBS seats in the country.
The establishment of new Medical Colleges attached to existing District/Referral Hospitals would lead to an increase in the availability of qualified health professionals, improve tertiary care in the Government sector, utilize the existing infrastructure of district hospitals and promote affordable medical education in the country.