Friday, August 7, 2015

Convert Sardar Raja Medical College to Govt. Health University or Govt. Medical College

Aug 4, 2015
Dear Honorable Chief Minister Mr. Patnaik,
Since past one week, students all over Kalahandi and intellectuals including leaders from BJD, BJP and Congress Party in Kalahandi have been protesting to take over Sardar Raja Medical College in Jaring to Govt. hand. I am very disappointed that Sardar Raja Medical College in Jaring is not capable of functioning as expected.

We had been warning the state Govt. since past five years that the Selvam Educational Trust is not capable to invest adequate amount to improve the infrastructure in the Sardar Raja Medical College and the said trust has minimum expertise in establishing medical college. From the beginning, the trust has not taken the project seriously. Most of the infrastructure building has come from the 10 crore rupees support of WODC and free Govt. land given to the trust.

Although Sardar Raja Medical College, Jaring got MCI approval and took 100 students in academic year 2013-14, later in 2014-15 MCI had rejected the institution based on poor infrastructure. Nevertheless, Supreme Court ruling for private medical college came as a relief and the said college took about 30 students in the year 2014-15, whose future is now in dark. All these 130 students are now nowhere in their medical education and their dream to be a doctor is shattering day by day due to poor infrastructure and administrative hurdles created by MCI and Sambalpur University, which are again related to lack of adequate infrastructure and faculty.

It is also not the case that faculty are unwilling to come to Kalahandi. Many physicians from far off Visakhapatnam are visiting private hospital in Kalahandi. The real issue is lack sufficient investment from Selvam Educational Trust to woo faculty members.

Incidentally, since past five years there has been a growing demand by the students, intellectuals, political leaders and public to either establish a fully Govt. medical college by upgrading district headquarter hospital and regional diagnostic center in Bhawanipatna or take over Sardar Raja Medical college completely as Govt. medical college. The issue had come many times in state assembly since past 10 years and a motion was also brought by opposition parties few years ago to make it a Govt. institution. Unfortunately, the ruling party that time did not realize gravity of such genuine demand and brazened the motion out due to politics.

To resolve the issue related to Sardar Raja Medical College immediately, many petitions and letters from individuals and through organizations have been submitted to the Chief Minister, but no appropriate action has been taken by the state Govt. to address the problem.

At this moment, Sardar Raja Medical College can’t function with its current poor infrastructure and faculty crunch unless Odisha Govt. directly intervene and take over it. As per the MoU (a copy of it is available with me), state Govt. had every right to cancel it if the institution would not be established fully within five years. Legally, in 2009 state Govt. or WODC had every right to cancel the MoU as Selvam trust had failed by then. However, today it is not late either. Lack of infrastructure and faculty by now gives sufficient legal ground to take over the institution by the state Govt.

In addition, financially state Govt. will not have much burden as state Govt. is already planning to establish a Health University in Odisha. Establishing Health University by converting Sardar Raja Medical College will also not bring any regional disparity because Bhubaneswar and surrounding region have already many private medical colleges and hospitals. Bhubaneswar has an AIIMS and Capital Hospital is becoming a postgraduate medical institution. Beside that Cuttack, Puri, Berhampur, Balasore, Baripada, Berhampur, Koraput, Balangir, Sambalpur, Talcher and Sundergarh have either an existing Govt. medical college or soon going to have a Govt. medical college. Rourkela has a WODC sponsored private medical college and a private medical college will come in Keonjhar. Therefore, taking over Sardar Raja Medical College and making it Health University for Odisha will neither bring additional cost to the state Government nor have any regional disparity.

Therefore, considering seriousness of the current genuine demand of the students and public all over Kalahandi, I urge you to take over Sardar Raja Medical College and make it Health University or fully Govt. medical college.

Thank you and best regards,

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