CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday gave his nod to upgrade the existing Government Hospital Mohali from 200 to 300 beds, as a pre-requisite for the opening of a new Medical College as per the norms of Medical Council of India. 

Chairing a high-level meeting here to review the functioning of the Medical Education & Research department, Captain Amarinder said the new medical college at Mohali would be made functional at the earliest.

 In order to bring far more efficiency in the standard of medical education, the Chief Minister asked the Vice-Chancellor Baba Farid University of Health Sciences to crackdown on the non-professional universities and institutions that were running medical courses by duping innocent students. He asked the VC, BFUHS, to take stern action like slashing seats of courses being run by them, besides closing them down.

 He also instructed the ACS Health to immediately take up the issue of opening of PGI satellite center in Ferozpur with the Government of India, as a 25-acre plot had already been identified in village Mallwal Kadim at Wazidpur for transfer after approval from the Central Government.

 Reviewing the progress of AIIMS project at Bhatinda, he also asked the department to prevail upon the Centre to expedite the construction of AIIMS Bathinda so as to complete the project within the stipulated time-frame. The Chief Minister also asked the Finance Department to immediately release Rs. 20.58 Crores for the construction of 66 KV sub-station, shifting of high transmission line and construction of watercourse, new construction of approach road, besides making the payment towards fee for no-objection certificate and building fee.

 The Chief Minister directed the Finance Department to immediately release Rs. 65.95 Crores for the execution of new works at Government Medical College Patiala, of which Rs. 13 Crores would be spent on Multi-level vehicular parking, Rs. 21 Crores on renovation and repair of TB Hospital Patiala, and Rs. 1 Crore for the purchase of ambulances. A sum of Rs. 8 Crores had already been earmarked for the installation of sewerage treatment plants and sewage repair. Notably, of the sanctioned budgetary provision Rs. 115.95 Crores, Rs. 50 Crores had already been released by Finance Department.

 The Chief Minister also asked the ACS Health to prepare a comprehensive action plan for the upgradation of infrastructure and faculty in the Government Medical College Patiala, which was one of the most prestigious medical institutions in the country but had lost its sheen due to the apathetic attitude of the previous government

 Captain Amarinder asked the Additional Chief Secretary Health and Family Welfare to personally monitor the progress of various projects related to government hospitals and medical colleges.

The Chief Minister also asked the department to work out modalities for two more medical colleges – one each in Sangrur and Gurdaspur or Pathankot, which would go a long way in strengthening the medical education and health services in the state. Moreover, it was also a part of Congress Party’s manifesto to establish five medical colleges in the state.

Regarding time-bound promotions of the medical faculty, Captain Amarinder asked the medical education and research department to convene meetings of departmental promotion committees on the regular basis.

 The meeting was attended, among others, by Health Minister Brahm Mohindra, Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal, Media Advisor to CM Raveen Thukral, Principal Secretary to CM Tejveer Singh, Finance Secretary Anirudh Tewari, Additional Chief Secretary Health Satish Chandra, Vice-Chancellor Baba Farid University of Medical Sciences Dr. Raj Bahadur, Director Medical Education & Research Dr. Avinash Kumar, OSD (Medical Services)/CM Dr. Girish Sahni, and Principal Government Medical College Patiala Dr. B S Sidhu.