In his Budget 2014 speech, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced the setting up of four new All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in the country. “We propose to set up four more AIIMS and Rs 500 crore is set aside for this. The four new AIIMS will be in Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Vidarbha in Maharashtra, and Purvanchal in Uttar Pradesh,” Jaitley said.
He also said that the other six AIIMS centres, at Jodhpur (Rajasthan), Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), Patna (Bihar), Rishikesh (Uttarakhand), Bhubaneshwar (Orissa) and Raipur (Chhattisgarh) would become functional.
With this announcement, Vidarbha, a region that has become famous for farmer suicides, will be the first to get an AIIMS institute in the state of Maharashtra. However will the funds set aside be enough to set up an institute of the quality that one has in New Delhi? Not everyone is convinced that Rs 125 crore will be enough, even as an initial allocation.
The AIIMS building in New Delhi is seen in this file photo. AFPThe AIIMS building in New Delhi is seen in this file photo. AFP
Maharashtra health minister Suresh Shetty told TOI, “You cannot have AIIMS for Rs 125 crore. You can at best upgrade an existing hospital.”
He told the paper “that his government had upgraded two hospitals—JJ Hospital in Byculla and the government hospital in Nagpur—to AIIMS-like status by giving funds.”
Dr Ved Prakash Mishra, president of the Medical Council of India’s academic council also told TOI that while the setting up of AIIMS would raise the standard of “medical education”, he was skeptical of its “implementation due to lack of qualified manpower.”

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