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Health dept mulls critical care unit, health camp for Gangasagar pilgrims

Kolkata: In a unique initiative, the state Health department is planning to set up a critical care unit close to the pilgrimage at Gangasagar, to cater to the pilgrims during Sagar Mela.

A health center equipped with adequate number of beds would also be erected at Outram Ghat in January, for the Gangasagar pilgrimage.

According to sources, the Health department has a plan to airlift the pilgrims who may fall ill while visiting Gangasagar. There are plans to keep air ambulances at the island, so that the patients can be flown into the city's medical colleges if the situation demands so.

Senior health officials have recently held a meeting at Swasthya Bhawan in this connection, where various issues related to the treatment of the pilgrims were discussed at length.

Health camps would also be organised by the department at Sealdah and Howrah stations. The state government is expecting that the number of pilgrims would go up this season and the number of buses would be increased by the state Transport department, to ferry the pilgrims from Outram Ghat.

The Health department is taking all possible measures to cater to the growing number of pilgrims. According to a senior Health department official, there will be a clinic at Outram Ghat, where similar facilities like outdoor services in government hospitals would be made available.

The Health department had set up camps at Outram Ghat in the past few years as well. But this time, the camp would be equipped with more facilities.

"There will be adequate arrangement of beds at the health camp at Outram Ghat. Pilgrims who would fall ill while attending camp will initially be treated at the health camp at Outram Ghat and they may be shifted to the city's medical colleges if there is a requirement of doing so. This time the health camp will get bigger in size as well," a health official said.

The Health department, however, is yet to decide how many beds would be kept at the health camp at Outram Ghat. Another health camp would also be set up near Gangasagar.

"Air ambulance facility is being given utmost importance so that critically ill patients can be flown into the city's hospitals in minimum possible time," the official said.

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