A demand for the All India Institute for Medical Sciences (AIIMS) centre has been getting momentum for last many months in Sundargarh district.
While Chief Minister Naveen Patnik had written a letter to the Central Government in this regard, a few months back, the Sundargarh Nagarika Samiti has been raising the issue in different forums.
Though Sundargarh MP Jual Oram was initially not in favour of the demand but meanwhile he has changed his stand too. Former Union Minister Dilip Ray has joined the chorus during his visit to steelcity as well.
Ray has attended a series of social, cultural and sports activities in different places of the city and in almost all occasions he has justified the demand for AIIMS at Sundargarh.
Ray says considering the poor healthcare services in tribal dominated Sundargarh district, he was assured of for upgradation of the Ispat General Hospital (IGH) to a medical college and super specialty hospital during 2014 election meeting from Narendra Modi, then projected Prime Minister candidate of BJP.
Even after assuming charge as the Prime Minister, during his visit on April 1, 2015, Modi had reiterated his assurance in a huge public gathering meeting here. However, nothing tangible happened.
For a time the plan for medical college proposal was dropped and a good building for super specialty hospital and PG centre with modern equipment was constructed by SAIL in the premises of IGH and it was inaugurated by the President of India on March 21.
But due to uncertainty over management and unavailability of specialised doctors and other paramedical staff, it is yet to be functional.Now, various organisations are demanding that AIIMS be operated fromthe building and infrastructure built by SAIL. To strengthen the demand many programmes were undertaken by the Nagarika Surakhya Samiti with seminars, submission of memorandum to competent authorities and hundreds of post cards mailed to the Prime Minister.
But of late as the SAIL authority has set up a trust to operate a super specialty hospital, the fate of AIIMS hangs in balance.
The IGH was not only a premier hospital in Odisha but also in eastern India. But now it has lost its glory. That is why many patients are referred to outside from his hospitals. Besides, at Sundargarh a beautiful hospital building was constructed by NTPC with adequate infrastructure which is befitting for a MCH.
So, while the people’s opinion is for AIIMS and the Chief Minister supports the demand, Jual Oram has already written a letter to the Union Health Minister.
Considering the population, geographical shape and health services available in the district, and the people from Chhatisgarh and Jharkhand depending on the health infrastructure of the Sundargarh and Rourkela, an AIIMS centre should be established in the district, feel the locals.