Mamata urges PM to increase seats in medical colleges

Mamata urges PM to increase seats in medical colleges

Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday took Prime Minister Narendra Modi head-on at the official function of the virtual inauguration of the second campus of Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute (CNCI) at New Town and said this campus has been inaugurated way before as it has been associated with the state government.

She also urged Modi to increase seats in medical colleges and requested him to recruit more IAS and IPS officers in the state.

"More medical seats should be added, given the fact that there is a big population and Covid has emerged, so more doctors are needed," she said.

"There is one hospital where 75 doctors are down with Covid. How will the treatment of patients be carried out?" she said.

However, she also added during the inauguration: "It so happened that during the Covid second wave, we needed more and more hospitals with beds and hence it was used as a Covid care centre and it helped us a lot."

She further added that the Prime Minister would be happy to know that the state government has funded 25 percent of the project and has been bearing the recurring expenditure of the CNCI.

"We have given 11 acres of land to build this campus.

Health is a state subject but the Centre and the state government must work together to better the lives of people," Banerjee added.

Thanking the Prime Minister for inaugurating the project, she said she attended the programme because of him.

Mamata further said that while the PM's suggestions to add people from 'outside' to strengthen the health infrastructure are being followed, such moves are being questioned by the Bengal Governor.

Banerjee took the virtual venue to complain about Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar's questions over the state's notification regarding the recruitment of retired officials of private companies to speed up work for various government projects.

"The Centre has given us the nod to go ahead with such recruitments. But he (the Governor) does not know. He had sought detailed papers regarding such recruitment," Banerjee said.

She reiterated that there may be differences in political ideologies but the state adheres to the guidelines of the Centre to the best extent when it comes to projects that involve the benefit of the masses.

Modi, who remotely inaugurated the campus, said the facility will be of immense use for the poor and the middle class, where someone is in need of cancer treatment. He mentioned that the state has been provided 11 crore vaccine doses for free by the Centre, besides ventilators and oxygen cylinders.

Speaking at the event, Modi said India has reached the historic milestone of administering 150 crore vaccines on Friday.

Mamata, meanwhile, asserted that Bengal is number one in vaccination and there is zero wastage of jabs in the state. "40 percent of the people have not received the second dose. We have also started vaccinating children in the age group of 15-18 years in schools and colleges. So, we require more vaccines from the Centre for the second dose. We can think about booster dose only after we complete the second jab," Banerjee pointed out.

Efforts are on to set up a medical college in each district, 19 state cancer institutes and 20 tertiary cancer centres, he said.

"We are going to produce more doctors over the next 10 years than we did in the last 70 years," he asserted.

Speaking about the state government's achievement in the health sector, Banerjee added that the state has signed an MoU with Tata Cancer Hospital in Mumbai, to open two new cancer centres of excellence in Kolkata and Siliguri.

"We have set up 43 new multi-speciality hospitals across the state, including a 300-bed facility, for paediatric patients. We have inaugurated 16 mother-child hubs in the state and have made sure that institutional delivery in Bengal is over 99 percent. It was a lowly 60 percent when we came to power in 2011," Banerjee said.

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