Amidst a competitive atmosphere of political recognition, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurated the Shri Jagannath Medical College and Hospital (SJMCH) in Puri. The medical college, established jointly by the Centre and the state on a 60:40 ratio, commenced its first academic session with a batch of 100 students.
SJMCH Fosters Collaboration Between Centre and State
The inauguration of SJMCH marks a significant collaboration between the central and state governments, reflecting a shared commitment to improving healthcare and medical education in the region. The medical college’s establishment is part of a larger scheme, with the Centre contributing 60% of the total cost of Rs 945 crore.
A New Chapter for Aspiring Medical Professionals
The launch of SJMCH signifies a milestone for aspiring medical professionals as the first batch of students embarks on their educational journey. The medical college’s creation addresses a longstanding demand for accessible medical education and quality healthcare facilities in the Puri district.
Political “Credit War” Erupts Amidst Inauguration
However, the celebratory occasion was shadowed by a “credit war” between the BJD and BJP. While Chief Minister Patnaik inaugurated the institution, the BJP criticized the decision, suggesting that a courtesy call to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the inauguration would have been more appropriate.
BJD’s Reservation Policy Empowers Underprivileged Students
Chief Minister Patnaik highlighted the impact of his administration’s policy, which reserves 15% of seats for students from government schools. This initiative has allowed underprivileged students to pursue their dreams of becoming medical professionals, empowering them to contribute to rural healthcare.
Future Prospects and Expansion
SJMCH’s inauguration is part of a broader initiative to enhance medical education in Odisha. With a 55% increase in medical college seats over the years, the state is making significant strides in medical education accessibility. Additionally, under phase 2 of the project, two more medical institutions are set to be established in Jajpur and Kalahandi.