BHUBANESWAR: On his birthday, chief minister Naveen Patnaik announced a medical college for the tribal-dominated Kandhamal district.
"I am happy to announce that a government medical college and hospital will be set up at DHH, Phulbani. The number of beds will be increased to 500 for the aforesaid purpose and a composite campus will be planned," Naveen said at the secretariat on Wednesday.
The chief minister said his government's endeavour was to set up one medical college in each of the erstwhile undivided districts.
The MKCG Medical College and Hospital in Berhampur, around 170 km away, is the nearest referral hospital for the people of Kandhamal, who number around eight lakh. Availing themselves of basic healthcare is a challenge for the people in Kandhamal as many of the district's villages are yet to get all-weather roads.
The DHH in Phulbani has 236 beds at present, while the daily outdoor patient load is around 350. The DHH has only paediatric ICU. The patients are usually referred to Berhampur Medical College for trauma care and super-specialty facilities. The proposed medical college in Kandhamal will also cater to Boudh, parts of Nayagarh, Gajapati and Rayagada districts. It will be developed with funds from the state government.
Sources said the announcement was based on feedback collected when chief secretary AP Padhi and 5T initiative secretary VK Pandian visited the DHH at Phulbani on Friday as part of Mo Sarkar.