Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Friday laid the foundation stone of the Mon Medical College here in Mon district and underscored that the government is planning holistic development of Northeast and carrying out it on the ground.

Chief Minister of Nagaland Neiphiu Rio, Health Minister of the state S Pangnyu Phom and Lok Sabha MP from Nagaland Tokheho Yepthomi were also present at the event.

Speaking at the event, Dr Harsh Vardhan said, “At present, there are 562 medical colleges in the country out of which 286 are in government sector while 276 are in private sector. Another 175 medical colleges are also in the process of development. Against 52,000 MBBS seats in 2013-14, there are now 84,000 UG seats. Several medical commissions are also being set up. Around 1,50,000 health and wellness centres have been set up in the country.”

Expressing his elation at the opening of the second medical college in the state, he said that this medical college is approved at a cost Rs 325 crore under Phase III of the Centrally Sponsored Scheme for establishment of new medical colleges attached with existing district/referral hospitals.

The project will have a central share of Rs 292.50 crore and is slated to be completed by 2023-24. “The setting up of the new college in Mon, one of the most backward and farthest districts from the state capital will help bring affordable secondary healthcare facilities to the doorsteps of nearly 2.5 lakh people,” he said.

He also lauded the efforts of healthcare workers in combating COVID-19 and stated, “India is ahead of many developed countries in the war against the pandemic”. He also mentioned the significance of the Ayushman Bharat programme, asserting that the government aims to eliminate Tuberculosis by 2025 from the country and urged the state government to work to ensure the same.

Chief Minister Rio in his address observed that the college will not only benefit Mon and Nagaland but also the people living in neighbouring states of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh and even Myanmar.

Stating that the college will be run by the state government under PPP mode, he outlined that Mon Medical College is one of the 75 district medical colleges to be constructed in the districts of the country where people have been historically deprived of development and health facilities (due to their locational disadvantage). (ANI)