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  India   All India  05 Feb 2017  Centre’s AIIMS move ignores many red flags

Centre’s AIIMS move ignores many red flags

THE ASIAN AGE. | TEENA THACKER
Published : Feb 5, 2017, 1:27 am IST
Updated : Feb 5, 2017, 6:11 am IST

The group of secretaries had asked the government to instead focus on getting these AIIMS up and running.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Photo: PTI)
 Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: The setting up of two new AIIMS in Gujarat and Jharkhand, announced in the Union Budget on February 1, could well remain a distant dream.

Top government sources told this newspaper that though the group of secretaries had strongly recommended against making any fresh proposals for more medical institutes, the government went ahead and made the announcement in the Budget anyway, “merely to score political points.”

The group of secretaries, while strongly recommending against announcing any new All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, had pointed out that the six newly established AIIMS (in Rishikesh, Jodhpur, Patna, Bhuwaneshwar, Bhopal and Raipur) were “struggling to get requisite faculty”. The group of secretaries had asked the government to instead focus on getting these AIIMS up and running.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier formed the group of secretaries with the brief that they undertake critical review of the work done by the government in their respective sectors.

Sources in the health ministry said that out of the 1,300 faculty positions advertised for AIIMS at Rishikesh, Jodhpur, Patna, Bhubaneswar, Bhopal and Raipur, only 300 candidates were found to be suitable for the posts. 

“We have not been able to operationalise these six institutions. We are not getting faculty, particularly at senior levels, like additional professors and professors,” a top government official said.

Desperate to get these AIIMS working, the health ministry has now decided to relax the eligibility criteria, including by increasing the age limit from 50 to 58 years for doctors and inviting doctors from overseas. 

Even though these six AIIMS are functioning only partially due to lack of doctors and faculties, 12 more AIIMS are already in the pipeline, excluding the two announced in the Budget. These 12 are proposed to be set up in Nagpur, Manglagiri (Andhra Pradesh), West Bengal, Rae Bareli, Gorakhpur, Jammu, Kashmir, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh and Assam. Most of these are far from being functional.

Tags: aiims, union budget, narendra modi
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi