In what can be called a major boost to the healthcare infrastructure and health education in the country, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a plan to set up 20 super-speciality All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and also to upgrade of 73 medical colleges.
“The decisions are part of the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY), which has been extended by two years till 2020, with a financial outlay of INR 14,832 crore,” Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
“Under this (PMSSY), we are going to set up 20 AIIMS in the country, six have already been established, and would upgrade 73 medical colleges. This is a historic decision,” he added.
The decision to extend the PMSSY by two years till 2020 was taken keeping in mind the requirement to meet the shortfall in healthcare professionals and facilities across the country.
“Setting up of new AIIMS would not only transform health education and training but also address the shortfall of healthcare professionals in the region. Setting up of new AIIMS in various states will lead to employment generation for nearly 3,000 people in various faculty and non-faculty posts in each of the AIIMS,” J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, said.
Central government will provide funds for the construction of the new AIIMS and it will also bear the operations and maintenance expenses of these facilities.
“PMSSY was started during the government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee to provide quality healthcare in remote areas as it’s not right to put all the pressure on AIIMS in Delhi. There were talks of setting up six AIIMS. But what happened in the next 10 years is for all to see,” Prasad added.
The upgradation programme of medical colleges will focus on improving health infrastructure through construction of super speciality blocks, trauma centres and others.
Both Central and state governments will provide funds for the procurement of medical equipment for existing as well as new facilities.
Highlighting other benefits of the PMSSY, Nadda said that each new AIIMS will add 100 UG (MBBS) and 60 B.Sc (Nursing) seats, 15-20 Super Specialty Departments and around 750 hospital beds.
“As per data of current functional AIIMS, it is expected that each new AIIMS would cater to around 1500 OPD patients / day and around 1000 IPD patients / month,” Nadda said.