In a welcome move, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has agreed to a proposal of the National Institute of Technology–Rourkela (NIT-R) to set up a medical college and hospital (MCH) with advanced research facilities. Referring to the letter of the NIT-R dated February 23 to Additional Principal Secretary to Prime Minister PK Mishra, the Under Secretary to the Government DVK Rao on April 5 sent a reply to NIT-R Director Prof. Animesh Biswas. The letter reads permission for establishment of a medical college is granted by the central government under Section 10 A of Indian Medical Council Act, 1956. The letter further requested the NIT-R authorities to submit an application/proposal to the MoHFW for establishment of the MCH within the present statutory schedule of June 15 to July 7.

Earlier, in a parallel move, Rourkela Steel Plant Executives’ Association (RSPEA) president and NIT-R Alumni Association (NITRAA) treasurer Bimal Bisi between February 19 and 24 had twice written to the Additional Secretary to the PM to set up MCH with advanced research facilities at the NIT-R and attach it with the Ispat General Hospital (IGH) of SAIL. Bisi thanked the PM and Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram and said the move would go a long way in ensuring critical healthcare and boost advance research with the NIT-R already having departments of bio-technology, biomedical and life sciences.

Modalities for the MCH at the NIT-R should be worked out appropriately to gain from the available infrastructure of the national institute and its research capabilities. Incidentally, three years after the official announcement of the PM to upgrade the IGH into super-specialty hospital and medical college (SSHMC), there has been no visible progress on the ground with SAIL being a reluctant main player. In the present circumstances, efforts are underway to equip four departments of IGH with super-specialty facilities. It remains to be seen if the IGH’s upgradation into SSHMC gets diluted or a separate MCH with advance research facilities will come up at NIT-R. – New Indian Express

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