KOCHI: In what can be seen as a landmark in the history of Government Medical College, Ernakulam, the health department has given administrative sanction for the Rs 368-crore master plan for the college.
The government has already placed the project in the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIFBI). The director board meeting of KIFBI scheduled to be held in February would be allocating funds for implementing the projects figured in the plan.
The master plan prepared by the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation(KSIDC) envisages construction of Rs 241-crore super-specialty block, staff and PG quarters, common amenities centre and an indoor stadium-cum-auditorium and gymnasium at a cost of Rs 127 crore.
Clearing the project would help address various issues plaguing the medical college.
“Our plan is to elevate the medical college to the standards of other government medical colleges in the state. In the next four years, the government expects to bring in a sea change in the facilities and services at the college,” said health minister K K Shailaja.
Though the state government took over the medical college from the Cooperative Academy of Professional Excellence (CAPE) in 2013, the college continued to lag behind when it comes to infrastructure and availability of faculty.
The government funding or budgetary allocation for the medical college had never crossed Rs 15 crore.
Now, that the government is pumping in huge amount for providing the much-needed infrastructure for the development of the medical college, the issue of faculty shortage should be addressed.
When TOI brought the issue to the notice of the health minister, she said: “Creation of posts is a big issue. Still, the government will take measures to provide adequate faculty and other staff.”The medical college lacks many basic facilities. Integration of staff is another issue which has to be taken care of by the government. Employees who were recruited by CAPE are yet to be integrated into the government stream.
The Rs 6.38-crore indoor stadium-cum-auditorium is expected to make Kochi a hub of international health conferences.
“As of now, there are few venues for holding conferences and seminars on health in Kochi. Such events are being held in hotels. Once the auditorium is ready, all such events can be conducted in the college itself. Besides adding revenue to the medical college, students of the college will get chances to rub shoulders with internationally renowned scientists and researchers in the field of health science,” an official with the medical college said.
Leaders of Justice Krishna Iyer Movement welcomed the government’s move. “This is the greatest support to the medical college ever given by the government. It will certainly help address a lot of issues faced by the college,” said Sanil Kumar of Iyer movement.