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New Delhi : Union Health and Family Welfare Dr. Harsh Vardhan along with Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh (MP) Shivraj Singh Chouhan digitally inaugurated the Super Speciality Block (SSB) of Mahatma Gandhi Memorial College, Indore, in the presence of  Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Union Minister of State, Health and Family Welfare, on August 28, 2020. The Medical College was also the nodal agency for a NCDC sero-survey. The report was released on August 28.

The SSB is built with an investment of Rs 237 crore under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY). It has departments of Neurology, Neurosurgery, Cardiology, Cardiothoracic surgery, Nephrology, Urology, Medical Gastroenterology, Surgical Gastroenterology, Plastic & Reconstructive surgery, and an Organ Transplant unit. The new Block has 10 Operation Theaters, 327 Super Specialty Beds, 92 ICU Beds, and has a training capacity of 30 DM/MCh and 28 PG students, according to a PIB release.

Dr Vardhan expressed deep gratitude to the  then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s vision of a healthy nation. Reminding the audience of  Vajpayee’s announcement in his Independence Day speech on August 15, 2003, to correct the imbalances in the availability of affordable healthcare facilities in different parts of the country and augmenting facilities for quality medical education in the existing ones, Dr Vardhan elaborated on vision of Vajpayee of “setting up of six AIIMS Institutions and up-gradation of existing Government Medical Colleges and Institutions.

“Since 2014, this scheme was pursued with renewed vigour and saw the setting up of 22 new AIIMS and projects for up-gradation of 75 Government Medical Colleges,” Dr Vardhan said. Eight Medical Colleges are set up in Madhya Pradesh while the government is committed to building another six in the aspirational districts of Rajgarh, Mandla, Mandsaur, Neemuch, Sheopur, and Singrauli, he added. He also expressed confidence that the NCDC regional centre being built in Bhopal will be completed by the end of the year.

The Union Health Minister stated that the Centre has provided 13.99 lakh N95 masks, 7.97 lakh PPEs, 54 lakh HCQ and 679 ventilators to Madhya Pradesh to strengthen it efforts to fight COVID-19. This is supplemented by 2,32,620 RNA extraction kits,  5,87,140 RT-PCR kits, and 2,55,850 VTM kits provided by the Central Government.

Informing everyone of the massive development work undertaken in the health sector by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Dr Vardhan said, “We are poised and determined to eliminate TB by 2025, five years before the entire global deadline. Also, the innovative Mission Indradhanush aims to immunize every child against 12 diseases and replicate the success of Polio eradication campaign. The government hopes to push maternal mortality, infant mortality and under-five mortality to near zero.”

CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan thanked the Union Government for its proactive role in strengthening the health infrastructure in Madhya Pradesh. He mentioned that the Union Health Ministry oversaw the installation of COVID testing facilities in 76 government labs after the State was forced to airlift swab-samples to other cities during the onset of the COVID Pandemic.