Dr. Dharmakanta Kumbhakar
(The writer can be reached at email@example.com)
The Tezpur Medical College (TMC) has completed its seven years of pride existence today. January 30 is the foundation day of the TMC. Late Tarun Gogoi, the then Chief Minister of Assam, formally inaugurated and dedicated the Tezpur Medical College and Hospital (TMCH) to the people of Assam on this day in 2014. Though the TMCH was formally inaugurated on January 30, 2014, the outpatient services were started on December 18, 2013 and the indoor services were started in the month of February, 2014.
The TMC is situated at Tumuki village of Bihaguri block of Sonitpur district, about 20 kilometres away from Tezpur town. Tumuki has been turned into a spot of attention because of the TMC today. Sometimes some people even translate the TMC as Tumuki Medical College. The TMC has provided economic development and employment opportunities to the people of Tumuki and its surrounding areas as well.
The need for a Medical College in the north bank of the Brahmaputra was a long-standing issue. The issue got momentum in the year 2005 when a Society for Medical Education was launched in Assam, under which establishment of three Medical Colleges were planned in Jorhat, Barpeta and Tezpur. Thus the real effort for establishment of the sixth Medical College of Assam in Tezpur started in 2005 with the formation of the Society for Medical Education, Tezpur (SMET) and acquision of 110 bighas of agricultural land at Tumuki. The Memorandum of Association for the SMET was signed on August 19, 2005. Laying of foundation stone for construction of the TMC was done by the then President of India, Pratibha Patil, on October 21, 2008. The construction of buildings and other ancillary facilities progressed during the next five years and were completed towards the end of the year 2013 when faculty members, doctors, nurses, office staff, paramedical staff and other employees of the TMC were gradually recruited.
It is really a challenging task to convert the concrete buildings to a medical college which is a temple of medical education and caring home for the ailing community. The toughest one is the Medical Council of India (MCI) inspection and permission. The MCI (now replaced by National Medical Commission) conducted the first inspection of TMC on May 16 and 17, 2014. On the recommendation of the MCI, the Government of India permitted TMC to admit 100 students in the MBBS course for the session 2014-15. On August 1, 2014, the academic session was formally inaugurated in the TMC. After the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th renewal MCI inspections in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 respectively and the recommendation MCI inspection in two parts in December, 2018, the Government of India recommended the TMC for 100 seats in the MBBS course. There are seven batches of MBBS students studying in TMC today. January 25, 2019 is a historic day for the TMC as on this day, TMC produced the first batch of MBBS doctors.
Meanwhile, the MCI inspected several departments of TMC for postgraduate degree courses. On the recommendations of the MCI, the Government of India permitted the TMC to start postgraduate degree courses almost in all the departments. In July, 2020 the first batch of postgraduate students took admission in the TMC. Today the TMC is a postgraduate medical college.
The teaching and non-teaching staff, present principal-cum-chief superintendent Prof. (Dr) Karuna Hazarika, postgraduate trainees, interns and the students of TMC are dedicated for the development of the college though they are facing many problems. The major problems include shortage of accommodation for faculties, doctors, staff and nurses, shortage of hostels for PG and UG students, lack of interns' hostel, resident doctors' hostel, guest house, safe drinking water, auditorium, recreation facilities, utility building, examination hall complex and playground. Still, the faculties of the TMC are providing best of education to the students and best of healthcare services to the patients. The students are excellent in academics and extracurricular activities. The pass percentage of TMCians is very high and some of them regularly occupy position within the top 10 with honours mark in every MBBS examination under SSUHS. They often participate and win prizes in national and State-level competitions in the field of sports, literature and cultural activities. Shyamoli Sajere Aai Mor Rupohi Mahabharotore Sadori Ji..., written and tuned by noted lyricist Sri Charu Kamal Hazarika, is the college anthem which was first sung by the students of TMC in the college anniversary on January 30, 2016. Chitrapat is the college magazine.
The hospital section of TMC is providing quality healthcare services to the people of several districts of North Assam and parts of Arunachal Pradesh with modern healthcare facilities. The hospital section consists of a 500-bedded hospital building with modern equipment, ICU, NICU, operation theatres, emergency complex with triage area, observation ward, emergency operation theatres, laboratory, blood bank with component separation facility, 128 slice CT scan machine, MRI machine, oxygen tank, mortuary, etc. There is no adequate paying cabin complex and proper external drainage system for the liquid affluent of the campus in TMCH. These have to be sorted out.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the TMCH was almost converted to Covid hospital. All the faculties, PG trainees, interns, nurses, paramedics and health workers served in the Covid screening, Covid isolation ward, ICUs, laboratories and Covid care centre at Paruwa dedicatedly under the dynamic leadership of the administration of TMCH. Therefore, the recovery rate of Covid-19 was high and fatality rate was low in TMCH.
The number of patients in the TMCH is increasing day by day. There are all together 22 departments in the TMC now. With the increasing flow of patients to the hospital, the need for some superspeciality services like Cardiology, Nephrology, Neurology and Neurosurgery are also being felt. As the TMC is situated by the side of the National Highway, the establishment of a trauma centre in the TMCH would be ideal. For all these additional facilities at TMC, the Government must provide manpower, additional space, infrastructure, equipment and more funds. With time and necessary financial help from the Government, the TMC has all the potentials to be one of the best medical colleges in Assam to fulfil the hopes and aspirations of the people of Assam.