July 25, 2019
Shanta Chhetri speaks on the proposed shifting of Lebong Military Hospital
I seek to draw the kind attention of this august House to the matter that, as per reports, the Defence Ministry is planning to shift Lebong Military Hospital in Darjeeling to some other states, that is, either Assam or Arunachal Pradesh.
This unfortunate shifting will hit the retired Gurkha personnel hard, personnel who have valiantly served our nation. If this hospital, which serves as the sole lifeline for retired Gurkha personnel in the region, is shifted, they will have to travel long distances to avail Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) facilities, which would cause them immense hardship.
What is more shocking is the reason given by the Defence Ministry for the shifting, which is low occupancy off beds. The reality though is otherwise. The real reason for low occupancy is that there has been no specialist doctor posted there for a long time.
The Defence Ministry should also study the fact that it has become difficult for this 158-bed hospital to handle the huge number of patients, as they also have a huge number of out-patients.
Therefore Sir, I would like to humbly request the Honourable Defence Minister to reconsider the shifting of Lebong Military Hospital, Darjeeling and immediately post specialist doctors for its best utilisation. By doing so, we will do our bit for the entire Gurkha personnel living in Darjeeling district for their selfless service to the nation.
Thank you, Sir.