The academic session of the first batch of AIIMS Rajkot in Gujarat started on Monday from its temporary campus in Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Medical College with 50 MBBS students. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani inaugurated the first academic session virtually, with Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan and Union Minister of State for Health Ashwin Chaubey joining the event through video conference.
Addressing the gathering through video conference from New Delhi, Vardhan said AIIMS Rajkot falls under Phase Six of Pradhan Mantri Swastha Suraksha Yojana. It shall be a 750-bedded hospital with multiple specialty and super specialty departments, and has a total outlay of Rs 1,195 crore, including Rs 185 crore for state- of-the-art medical equipment, the minister said.
AIIMS Rajkot will have 125 MBBS and 60 nursing seats in due course of time, he added. He said AIIMS campuses were being set up in different parts of the country "to promote the regional spread of super specialty health care" and is a "concerted effort to ensure quality health care to each and every citizen of India".
The short-term objective of establishing new AIIMS was to reduce the gaps in affordable tertiary health care, while the long-term vision is to generate wellness among people, the minister said. "The government is making an endeavor to increase the availability of MBBS seats to 80,000, to bridge the gap in requirement of doctors. From 2013-14 onwards, the number of MBBS seats in the six new AIIMS has gone up to 600, providing an opportunity to an additional 300 MBBS aspirants," he said.
"With the addition of new AIIMS, including AIIMS Rajkot, the overall availability of MBBS seats in the country has risen to 42,495 in government institutions. Seats will increase further in the future as AIIMS Rajkot shifts from its temporary campus to a permanent one," he added. He said the Union Health ministry was striving to achieve the World Health Organisation target of doctor-patient ratio of 1:1000 by 2021.
Union minister Chaubey said it was former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's dream that every state in the country should have an AIIMS campus, adding that six such facilities were set up during the tenure of late Sushma Swaraj as Union health minister. He said permission for 22 All India Institute of Medical Sciences campuses had been given.
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said previous governments at the Centre had denied the state a chance to have an AIIMS and it was only after Narendra Modi became prime minister that the permission arrived. Land for AIIMS Rajkot had been earmarked and PM Modi would soon lay the foundation stone, the CM informed.
"It is a matter of great pleasure for us that when Narendra Modi became prime minister, he granted permission for AIIMS to be set up across the country. Previous governments did not pay much attention to the health sector," he said. Deputy CM Nitin Patel said the Gujarat government was setting up one to two medical colleges every year which was addressing the need for doctors.