Silchar, Sept 18: Chief Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma inaugurated 80 ICU beds including 40 for the paediatric department at the Silchar Medical College and Hospital (SMCH) on Saturday.
Addressing a gathering after the inauguration, the Chief Minister said, "Before the outbreak of COVID-19, the SMCH had only 14 ICU beds. But now the strength has multiplied to 180 and in the next few months more ICU beds will be available as per the assurance from Coal India Limited. While the paediatric unit had only six ICU beds before the outbreak of the pandemic, now the numbers will enhance to at least 62 beds shortly. Considering the overall strength of ICU beds in the hospital, the SMCH is equipped with nearly 300 ICU beds."
He also inspected the construction of a 50-bedded building at the hospital during his visit which is a part of his two-day schedule in Barak Valley.
"During the crisis period, the health sector became stronger. In the second wave, people of Assam, residing in places across the rest of India, somehow managed to fly to Assam, concealing their COVID infection with the hope that they will get treatment here. The two phases of COVID-19 outbreak has shown that people, by and large, prefer treatment at Government hospitals and the trend is getting stronger by the day.
We can say that this is a triumph of the health sector and faith of the people in the Government health sector has been reaffirmed during the crisis which was made possible by the efforts from the doctors to the ambulance drivers," the Chief Minister claimed.
He added to inform that besides ensuring adequate availability of remdesivir injection to hospitals within the state but also dispatched not less than 10,000 remdesivir injections to people of Assam residing in various parts of the country. Moreover, the oxygen generation facilities have also improved across the state to meet the demands and informed that while there is a threat of another wave striking, the developments in health infrastructure should be able to save lives by rendering better treatment, Dr Sarma maintained.
He mentioned the efforts of Minister of Excise and Forest Parimal Suklabaidya and Silchar MP Dr Rajdeep Roy in the development of the SMCH in the past few years.
"It is important for both the Government and the society to invest in health infrastructure so that we stay safe and protected. When we count mortality, it is almost nil in cases when people infected with COVID have reported to the hospitals early. Only those who rushed to the hospital at the last minute had suffered. In spite of the situation, we have been able to maintain the mortality rate to around 1 per cent," the Chief Minister said.
However, the Chief Minister was optimistic to address the lacunas in the areas of facilities like neurosurgery, cardiology departments in the coming days. Dr Abhijit Swami, superintendent of the hospital expressed his gratitude on behalf of the hospital for taking up the steps for the development of the hospital.