Shimla: Himachal Chief Minister Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu laid the foundation stone for the first PET Block at Indira Gandhi Medical College (IGMC), Shimla today to be constructed with a cost of Rs. 45.68 crore including Rs. 21 crore Single Positron Emission Tomography (PET) CT machine, Rs. 9 crore for photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) CT machine and Rs. 15.68 crore for civil works.
The Chief Minister said that the patients of the state had to travel to Chandigarh or Delhi for a PET scan which was very expensive. He said that the present State Government was committed to provide world-class facilities to patients within the State which would go a long way in saving their money and time. He said that once the PET block is completed it would facilitate in detection of cancer, response and follow-up, besides benefits to cardiology, psychiatry, urology and other departments.
The PET block would be a three-story building with modern amenities for patients, doctors, and paramedical staff besides parking space for about 50 vehicles, he added.
The Chief Minister said that the government aims to establish PET scan facilities in all medical colleges within a year and has also allocated Rs. 400 crore for the Center of Excellence for Cancer Care in Dr. Radhakrishnan government medical college Hamirpur. The government recognizes that the number of cancer patients were increasing in the state and has earmarked funds in the budget for the study of cancer causes.
The Chief Minister said that the state government has accorded health sector top priority and efforts were being made to provide world-class medical facilities by eliminating the referral system in government hospitals. The state government has made special provisions for the health sector in the budget, including establishment of a Department of Medical Emergency in all medical colleges so that people do not face any inconvenience in getting prompt treatment. He said that this department would have one staff nurse per bed in the ICU, one staff nurse per three beds in casualty ward and one doctor for every 10 beds, with duty limited to eight hours. The government has also allocated Rs. 11 crore to set up a 175-bed medical emergency facility with a trauma center at IGMC Shimla, he added.
Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu emphasized the importance of bringing reforms in medical education in order to align with modern techniques and encouraging doctors to work with a spirit of service. He said that the government was investing in modern technology to equip health institutions of the State so that best facilities were provided for people. He also highlighted the excellent reputation of IGMC Shimla and its alumni in the medical profession.
The Chief Minister said that the government was working for system revamp and efforts were also being made for resource mobilization in order to improve the financial health of the state. He said that the state government has given approval to open HP State Medical Services Corporation, through which all kinds of medical machinery, medicines and equipment would be procured.
Health Minister Dr. (Col.) Dhani Ram Shandil said that the present State Government was working with commitment towards health and welfare sectors. He said that the number of cancer patients was increasing and a need was felt to construct PET block at IGMC Shimla to benefit the cancer patients. By taking the help of advanced technology in the medical field, people would get the best treatment and the state government was endeavoring to provide better health facilities to the people of the state by solving the problems of the professionals related to the medical field, he added.
The Health Minister urged the people to be vigilant about Covid-19, as cases have been increasing day by day. He emphasized the importance of following Covid appropriate behaviour and creating awareness among people about this virus.
Chief Parliamentary Secretary Sanjay Awasthi, MLA Harish Janartha, Principal Advisor (Media) to Chief Minister Naresh Chauhan, Secretary Health M. Sudha Devi and other senior officers of the IGMC were also present on the occasion amongst others.