**Balangir: ** The much-awaited Balangir medical college and hospital was dedicated to the public today by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik flanked by Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare J.P. Nadda.
Besides the Odisha CM and Union Health Minister, Odisha Health Minister Pratap Jena, Odisha Leader of Opposition and Balangir (Congress) MLA Narasingha Mishra, Balangir MP Kalikesh Narayan Singhdeo, former Rajya Sabha Member and former Balangir MLA A.U. Singhdeo and all the MLAs of the district were present on the dais.
The new medical college has been named as Bhima Bhoi Medical College and Hospital. It has been named after legendary poet Santha Kabi Bhima Bhoi, who was the propagator of the famous ‘Mahima Dharma’. The legendary poet also professed the philosophy of ‘Sunyabada’.
Apart from the inauguration, the MBBS academic session also began from today. 100 MBBS seats have been permitted in this new medical college from this academic session of 2018-19.
In his address, the CM said that the inauguration has materialised the long cherished dream of the people of Balangir and it will also help in significant improvement in quality healthcare in the locality.
Paying homage to Santha Kabi Bhima Bhoi, the CM said Santha Kabi had professed and propagated humanism to the whole world. The CM also advised that the students should follow the footprints and ideals of the legendary poet to serve the society, mostly the neglected lot.
The Odisha Chief Minister also said that his State Government’s efforts are on to provide healthcare and education services in the inaccessible areas and tribal pockets.
He informed that the total seats of MBBS course were 321 in 2000 while with the establishment of Koraput Saheed Laxman Nayak Medical College, Mayurbhanj Pandit Raghunath Murmu Medical College and Bhima Bhoi Medical College, the MBBS seats have gone up to 950.
“With the inauguration of Balasore Fakir Mohan Medical College next month, the total number of MBBS seats will increase to 1050. The medicos should treat the poor patients with dedication and compassion,” stated the CM.
The new medical college has been built at an estimated cost of Rs 187 crore. While the Odisha Government has invested Rs 122 crore, the Centre has shared Rs 65 crore.
For the hospital, Rs 113 crore has been expended. While Rs 83 crore has been spent by the State Government, Rs 30 crore has been shared by the Centre. The State Government has also provided 25 acres of land for the purpose. In addition, the State Government will also bear all the expenses towards the maintenance of the college and hospital including the salary of the medical teachers and doctors.
Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda in his address narrated about the implementation and benefits of Deendayal AMRIT Scheme. He requested Odisha Health Minister Pratap Jena to implement it in all the medical colleges so that the patients are benefited by the branded medicines at affordable prices.
Notably, the first proposal for establishing the medical college and hospital was passed in 1999 by the Western Odisha Development Council (WODC) when Narasingha Mishra was the the then WODC chairman.
Accordingly, the foundation stone had been laid by the Chief Minister in 2004. Also several pacts between the Odisha Government and various private firms to set up the institution had been inked and annulled. However in 2013, the Centre announced setting up of four medical colleges in Odisha.
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