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India’s second-smallest state gets second-biggest government hospital

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Gangtok, Jan 25: The hilly state of Sikkim often comes to the headlines for its government's people- and environment-friendly policies. Last week, India's second smallest state made the headlines yet another time and this time, the reason was the opening of the country's second-biggest government hospital on its soil. Sikkim is India's second-smallest state after Goa.

India’s second-smallest state gets second-biggest government hospital

Chief Minister Pawan Chamling, who is the longest-serving incumbent now (since 1994), breaking the record of Left patriarch Jyoti Basu who was in power for 23 years in neighbouring West Bengal, inaugurated the hospital at Sochaygang which has 1,002 beds. The hospital, named New Sir Thutob Namgyal Memorial Multi-Speciality Hospital, is reportedly the second biggest healthcare facility only after New Delhi's All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), a report in Northeast Today said.

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The hospital is built on 15 acres of land and it took nine years and Rs 1,281 crore to set up the entire project. The 10-storeyed hospital building can also resist earthquake measuring up to eight on Richter Scale. It has 13 lifts and 23 operation theatres besides several departments. It also houses sophisticated equipment and round-the-clock bus service will be available to carry passengers and attendants to and from the state capital of Gangtok for free.

"After AIIMS, this is the biggest government hospital in the country and our government has created history. The 100-year-old Sir Thutob Namgyal Memorial Hospital located in the heart of the capital would be now shifted to the new hospital by the end of this month," Chamling was quoted as saying while inaugurating the hospital.

The new hospital will replace the existing 100-year-old hospital by the same located in the heart of Gangtok.

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The hospital will start functioning from February 1. As of now, the government has appointed 47 regular doctors and over 260 nurses and the procedure is on to rope in more specialists and paramedics, the chief minister said, adding the hospital will give free treatment to residents of the state as well patients from the neighbouring regions.

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