Dr. Mukul Sangma, Chief Minister, Meghalaya, laid the foundation stone for developing the Tura Medical College. The event took place at the Tura Civil Hospital and was attended by several dignitaries like Zenith Sangma, the Sports & Youth Affairs Minister and MLAs Bluebell R. Sangma, Dikkanchi D. Shira and Noverfield Marak.
The Tura Medical College will have 100 seats and will be built over 100 acres of land at Doldegre which is around 8 kilometers away from Tura. The project cost is more than Rs. 180 crore and will encompass the building of the Doldegre College and the upgradation of the Civil Hospital as well. The latter, according to Dr. Sangma, would function as the primary teaching hospital.
The project faced a 5-year delay since the previous site located under Jewilgre and Balalgre A’king close to Damalgre, did not receive any approvals from the Empowered Committee set up for the same. This was because of the new guidelines issued by the Medical Council of India which stipulates that no medical college should be present at a location which is more than 10 kilometers away from the main hospital. As a result, the Government has had to check alternative locations and eventually this new site was acquired by it at Doldegre.
Dr. Sangma stated that this was a very proud moment for him and this new institution will transform the healthcare delivery system in Meghalaya. The medical college will help in tackling the challenges of offering quality infrastructure to aspiring medical professionals along with providing better treatment for citizens according to him.
Dr. Sangma emphasized upon the obstacles that caused this delay in commencing with the project post receiving the necessary sanctions. He also talked of how land acquisition continued to be a major problem for projects and hence the Meghalaya Government has taken up this new policy where the Government gives more jobs to the community which donates land for projects. He thanked the Nokmaship at Doldegre and the settlers in the compound of the Civil Hospital for their gesture in the interest of the citizens of Meghalaya.
He also added that many times, people succumb to major illnesses since they cannot afford costly medical treatments in hospitals in other states. A medical college would fill up the gap between demand and supply in the State’s healthcare sector. He also talked of how people should prioritize health care and urged medical professionals to make health checkups compulsory for all citizens including government employees. He talked of how resources are drained and citizens become more unproductive in the absence of periodic health check-ups.
The event also had speeches delivered by Zenith Sangma, the Sports & Youth Affairs Minister, Ram Singh, the Deputy Commissioner of West Garo Hills, Dr. Milton S. Sangma, the Retired Pro-Vice Chancellor of NEHU Tura Campus and Dr. Shemphang Lyngdoh, the DHS, Garo Hills Division. The Chief Minister also undertook an inspection of the hospital wards and talked to patients about their treatments.