20 AIIMs coming up as India’s health care lies in tatters

AIIMS
AIIMS Delhi

The fact that general elections are around the corner and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has realised that on what issues he is going to seek votes in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. BJP is now showcasing the welfare schemes launched during the four years rule of Modi.

BJP claimed that Modi government has established two new All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Jharkhand and Gujarat in 2017-18 and plans to set 20 new “AIIMS-like” hospitals. But according to a FactChecker analysis, only 3% of sanctioned funds for 11 new AIIMS have been released.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), released a slew of infographics showcasing its campaigns for “transforming India” as Modi government is using “transforming India” as the central theme for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Up to 60% of faculty positions at the six working AIIMS are also vacant, according to a reply given by JP Nadda, the minister for health and family welfare, to a Lok Sabha question in February 2018.

In a hush-hush manner, the Union Cabinet chaired by PM Modi in May 2018 has approved a plan to set up 20 All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) across the country, six of which have already been established, and to upgrade 73 medical colleges.

When the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government came to power in 2014, it announced four new AIIMS, seven more in 2015 and then two more in 2017.

Of these, none are near completion.

The first six new AIIMS at Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Jodhpur, Patna, Raipur and Rishikesh were proposed under the first phase of the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY), a health programme of the Vajpayee government in 2003.

The scheme’s objective was to correct regional imbalances in the availability of affordable and reliable tertiary healthcare services and boost quality medical education.

Modi is popular in renaming or repackaging UPA schemes or programmes of previous NDA regime of then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
But the real healthcare under Modi rule is in bad shape as in 2017 at least 60 children died in five days at the state-run Baba Raghav Das Medical College Hospital in Gorakhpur, prompting the Uttar Pradesh government to order a magisterial inquiry into the incident

The conditions of government-run hospitals remain pitiable with shabby rooms and poor resources. There are 300 government hospitals which are going to be handed over to private entities in Maharashtra as part of public-private enterprise.
The government is not putting money in the public sector hospitals to strengthen it. The government is abdicating its responsibility on healthcare.

Modicare is very ambitious and it lacks sufficient capacity to implement a scheme of this type as Rs 30,000 insurance coverage under the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana is still not fully implemented.

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