Lack of Government Medical College in Vizianagaram district adding to misery of COVID-19 patients

The government general hospital is able to handle only 300 patients while more than 10,000 COVID-19 patients await treatment.

Poor medical infrastructure in the absence of government medical college is causing untold miseries to COVID-19 patients in Vizinagaram and other parts of the district.

Successive governments ignored the establishment of a medical college in the district, which was formed on June 1, 1979. The four decades of negligence has now turned into a bane for patients who are forced to go to hospitals in nearby Visakhapatnam district.

The existing government general hospital is able to accommodate only 300 COVID-19 patients when more than 10,000 persons have tested positive for the infection and await treatment.

BJP senior leader Pakalapati Sanyasi Raju said that the party been demanding the establishment of a government mediacal college for the last two decades. “Improvement of medical infrastructure should be the top priority for the State government. Hardly 500 crore rupees would be sufficient for its establishment. The Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy administration should speed up the process since Narendra Modi government has also relaxed norms for establishment of new medical colleges in backward regions,” he said.

Loksatta Party State Executive President Bhisetti Babji said that the State government assured the establishment of the medical college but failed to identify suitable location in the last one year. “At least 1,000 beds would have been available for COVID patients if the medical college was established in 2020 itself. Mere statements and sanction of funds on paper would not benefit the district. The State government should show its commitment by taking steps on war footing to construct the new college,” he said.

Former MP of Parvatipuram Dr. D.V.G. Sankara Rao, a doctor by profession, said that improvement of medical infrastructure at a par with Visakhapatnam district would ensure treatment to patients in Vizianagaram district itself. “Apart from providing treatment to the patients, senior doctors and professors can concentrate on research. They can exchange their views and take up case studies in situations like COVID-19,” said Dr. Rao.

Currently, Vizianagaram has only one private medical college — Maharaja Institute of Medical Science at Nellimarla.

Minister for Municipal Administration Botcha Satyanarayana and other public representatives inspected various sites adjacent to the Government General Hospital, police grounds and Leprosy hospital. However, the site has not yet been finalised due to multiple reasons. The officials are expected to concentrate on site selection after the pandemic is brought under control.

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