Chief Minister Mukul Sangma on Wednesday laid the foundation stone here for the first medical college in Meghalaya.
The 500-bed medical institute-cum-hospital will be developed by the KPC Group of Kolkata under the public-private partnership (PPP) mode at an estimated cost of Rs 350-Rs 400 crore.
"Establishing infrastructure and taking up projects in PPP mode is a very challenging task for a government as the concept of PPP model is still new for many," Sangma told the gathering.
He said that his government had successfully taken up many developmental programmes in the state in the PPP mode.
Sangma said the setting up of medical colleges in Shillong and Tura, the district headquarters of West Garo Hills, would help meet the shortage of medical professionals while providing better health facilities to the people of the state.
"A medical college is not only an institution for aspiring students who wish to become medical professionals but also a centre with the entire wherewithal to assist the government and the policy makers in respect of all the challenges associated with healthcare sector. Medical colleges are also the tertiary referral centres," the medical practitioner-turned-Chief Minister said.
"With such medical colleges in our own state, our beloved people will no more be forced to travel to Delhi, Vellore or Chennai for tertiary healthcare."
Sangma said a new strategy for treatment needed to be adopted, and doctors and nurses needed to equip themselves with knowledge and skill for better treatment and nursing of patients.