Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday jointly dedicated the Shri Jagannath Medical College & Hospital (SJMCH) in Puri to the nation.
The medical college has been established jointly by the Union and State governments.
The medical college has a capacity to admit 100 MBBS students annually. The academic year of the first batch of the college also commenced on Monday.
Speaking on the occasion, Patnaik said: “This is a historic day for Puri district. I hope that, with the efforts of the teachers and students, this institution will get a great name in serving the people of Puri.”
It is heartening to know that the students from the poorest sections have got into the medical college. Especially, the students from the government schools have got the admissions due to the 15 per cent reservation policy of the state government, he said.
He noted that “a long dream of establishing a medical college in Puri has been fulfilled today”.
The Chief Minister wished the students on the start of their first day in the medical course and thanked the Union Minister for his support in establishing the medical college.
Expressing his elation at the event, Mandaviya said that the hospital will play a pivotal role in training doctors and providing good medical facilities to the people of Odisha.
He interacted with the students who will be part of the inaugural batch of the hospital and motivated them to work hard and serve in the remotest corners of the country so that healthcare can reach to the last mile.
The Health Minister highlighted that the vision of New India as envisaged by the Prime Minister is to make healthcare accessible and affordable for all people.
He further requested the Chief Minister to integrate Ayushman Bharat Yojana with the existing state health facilities to further improve the access to healthcare in India.
The SJMCH is part of five medical colleges built under Phase-I of the scheme for ‘Establishment of new medical colleges attached with existing district/referral hospitals’.
All the hospitals under the scheme have been built at an approved cost of Rs 945 crore with 60 per cent contribution (Rs 567 crore) from the Centre. With the inauguration of this institution, all five medical colleges have become functional now.
Overall, there has been a 55 per cent increase in medical seats in the state from 387 in 2013-14 to 596 in 2020-21.
Under Phase II and III of the above scheme, two more medical colleges in Jajpur and Kalahandi districts of Odisha have been approved. Central share of Rs 150 crore and Rs 100 crore respectively has been released to the state government for the two new medical colleges, officials said.
The Puri medical college has started functioning with health facilities of the District Headquarter Hospital (DHH), Puri.
A 650-bedded teaching hospital is under construction by the State government. This medical college and hospital will provide quality health care services to the people of Puri district and also to a large number of tourists visiting Puri town, they said.