The Centre's sanction for setting up an AIIMS campus in Kamrup district, on the suburbs of the city, has led to a mixed bag of feelings from the locals.
The medical community in Assam allied to the Indian Medical Association (IMA) and the Assam Medical Services Association (AMSA) on Thursday hailed the Centre's approval of setting up of an All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Changsari in Kamrup in the outskirts of the city.
Health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted, "our efforts to overhaul facilities in Assam will get massive boost with AIIMS with facilities of super specialty health care to people."
Mentioning that illnesses such as cancer, cardiovascular, trauma, diabetes and road traffic accident incidents has been increasing in the state, medical professionals said AIIMS in the state will function as a referral centre and will be able to attend to the vital health issues that, till now were not being covered by the existing facilities in a viable manner.
"AIIMS in Assam will also be able to cater research in complicated medical subjects. It will benefit the northeast. Such research will help the medical fraternity more than ever. At the same time, people in the state should know that AIIMS in Assam will be a referral centre that will consider major ailments. People here will definitely be benefited in the long term," said Satyajit Borah, vice president of the state chapter of IMA.
Resonating his view was Kanak Talukdar of AMSA who was quoted as saying that AIIMS will bring in a radical phase in medical sciences particularly in research oriented topics. "This is a great beginning for Assam that has been witnessing shortcomings in the health sector for a while now. Doctors who are oriented towards research will really benefit," said Talukdar.
Some, however, were cynical about the move. "The city is already burdened with traffic and crowd. If Raha or someplace besides Guwahati had been selected, this would have given an opportunity for these places to be developed," said a doctor.
Meanwhile, just a day before PM Narendra Modi lays down the foundation of the AIIMS campus, the Central Assam AIIMS Demand Committee appeared on the streets of Raha in Nagaon district to object against the cabinet's sanction of setting up of AIIMS in the outskirts of Guwahati.
The committee has announced a middle Assam bandh on Friday. Raha was one of the recommended sites for AIIMS in Assam. Guwahati was preferred over Raha because of its better connectivity.