Siliguri (West Bengal), Sep.2 (ANI): Siliguri located near the India-Nepal border is fast becoming a medical hub for adjoining areas, especially for Nepalese patients.
The strategic location of the city makes it a base for essential supplies to the above regions and this has helped the city gradually develop as a profitable center for a variety of businesses.
As India and Nepal share an open border, the city has also emerged as a medical hub in the region.
Many Nepalese travel regularly across the border to India for better and affordable medical treatment, which is not readily available in Nepal. Like Dhana Pati Pastula, from Dharan district of Nepal.
"I have come from Nepal to get better medical treatment here (India). I have already been here twice earlier and I have come back again. In Nepal I could not get proper treatment. This time I have brought other family members as well. We do not have the required number of doctors in Nepal and the treatment is also very expensive. But here the treatment is very cheap, that is why I have come here."
Various hospitals and nursing homes in Siliguri provide medical facilities and treatment to the patients. According to Dr. Rajib Sukla, frfom one such nursing home- Arogya Niketan - 40 percent of their patients are from Nepal, as there is a shortage of medical institutions and other healthcare facilities in many parts of the country.
"In Nepal medical facilities are available but only in central areas. But peripheral areas are left out, as it requires huge investments for a hospital setup. So, all types of investigative tests and treatments are not available across the country. Hence Siliguri has emerged as a medical hub for the adjoining areas. Siliguri has many types of hospitals. Many patients come here from all over the region and far flung places as they get better facilities here," said Dr. Rajib Sukla, Arogya Niketan Nursing Home.
Cultural similarities between India and Nepal and open borders with no restrictions on the movement of people on either side, have helped such patients, who require immediate attention. And for Sajjan Dalmiya, director of Arogya Niketan, this provides an opportunity to help others.
"For the future we want to do ten operations free of cost instead of the current five, so that people coming in from Nepal get full advantage. We always planned it like this so that people coming from a foreign country feel comfortable and come here more often. If there is a shortage of medical facilities in their countries, they can get the benefits here."
With rapidly growing medical infrastructure and its strategic location, Siliguri is transforming into a healthcare hub. (ANI)