On Monday, January 14, the second largest government hospital of India was inaugurated at Sochaygang in Sikkim, reported Northeast Today. The 1,002-bed hospital is reportedly the second biggest government healthcare facility of the country, only preceded by All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi.
The world-class healthcare facility
The ten-storied new Sir Thutob Namgyal Memorial Multi-Speciality Hospital (STNM) is built on 15 acres of land. The mammoth project incurred a total cost of 1,281 crore rupees and took nine years to complete. The century-old renowned STNM hospital, situated at the centre Sikkim’s capital Gangtok, will now be shifted to the new hospital premises.
Built on hilly terrain, the main block of the hospital has been made earthquake-resistant (up to eight in Richter Scale). The facilities available are on par with the international standards. Along with separate general, surgical and speciality departments, it has as many as 23 operation theatres that can function simultaneously. The hospital has state-of-the-art diagnostic instruments including MRI, orthopantomogram machine and Doppler fetal monitor. 47 expert doctors and 261 nurses have already been recruited as full-timers in the hospital. More super specialists, specialists and paramedics are being appointed at present.
The New Sir Thutob Namgyal Memorial Multi-Speciality Hospital will be opened for public from February 1. Eight 24X7 buses will be operated by the government to ply patients and attendants from the main town of Gangtok and adjoining areas, situated within a radius of 3 km. Additionally, a Yatri Niwas comprising of 119 beds have also been set up in the hospital premises to provide overnight accommodation and food to the patients’ family and friends.
Free treatment for all Sikkim citizens
Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling, who inaugurated the facility said that the 24-year-old government has created history with this hospital. He declared that residents of Sikkim can avail free treatment at the hospital and it will also benefit inhabitants from Darjeeling, North Bengal and other parts of Northeast.
“All kinds of treatment can be done at the hospital. No one will have to go outside for treatment. They will not have to travel to Delhi or Calcutta. They can receive world-class treatment in their own place,” he said to The Telegraph.
The Chief Minister also lay the foundation stone for a Rs 556 crore project to construct the state’s first medical college adjacent to the hospital. The building construction is estimated to take another three years. Meanwhile, classes for the medical college will commence at the old STNM hospital building in Gangtok from June 2019 onwards. “The college will take in 100 students every year,” informed Health Department Commissioner Vishal Chauhan.