22 AIIMS have been sanctioned to be set up under the various phases of the PMSSY scheme as of 2021. Out of these, only seven AIIMS, which includes the first AIIMS established in Delhi in 1956 and the six new AIIMS announced under the 'phase 1' of the scheme are fully functional. While the 12 AIIMS are functional but not completed and the remaining four still under various stages of construction.
In the wake of the surging COVID-19 cases in the country, politics over India's strained healthcare system have geared up. Amid this, a list has started doing rounds on social media platforms, purportedly showing that only one AIIMS was announced and established under the Congress-led UPA regime.
The controversy started when recently, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighting a 5-point remedy to tackle the COVID-19 crisis.
The list titled, "AIIMSs and locations, sorted establishment wise" shows 22 AIIMS along with the year in which it was announced and the year in which it was established. The list shows that only one AIIMS (AIIMS Raebareli) was announced and established under the NDA government in 2013. The list also shows that only three out of 22 AIIMS are under development, while the rest are functional.
A Twitter user named Abhinav Prakash shared the image of the list along with the caption, 'History will not judge Manmohan Singh kindly.'
Several other users are sharing the same list on Twitter.
In our investigation, we found the information given in the list is not entirely true. Let's look at the status of all the AIIMS institutes.
The PMSSY scheme was announced in 2003 with the primary objective of ‘correcting the imbalances of availability of affordable/reliable tertiary level healthcare in the country’.
Under the PMSSY, AIIMS institutes were to be built at eight different phases. As of 2021, 22 AIIMS have been sanctioned to be set up.
To date, only seven AIIMS are fully functional. This includes the first AIIMS established in Delhi in 1956 and the six new AIIMS under Phase 1 (Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Jodhpur, Patna, Raipur, and Rishikesh) which was sanctioned during the previous NDA regime of then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and completed during the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime. While the remaining 12 are functional but not completed and the remaining four are still under various stages of construction.
It is true that only one AIIMS was announced under the Congress government in 2008, which got the cabinet's approval in 2009. According to an article published by the Indian Express on April 14, 2017, ' the deadline for completion of the entire project, which would also include a medical college, was three years.'
In July 2013, the state government handed over about 100 acres to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and the foundation stone was laid in October same year.
As per a report published in the Firstpost in 2018, AIIMS Raebareli was estimated to be functional by March 2020.
The Hindu Business Line reported in December 2019 that the construction at AIIMS Raebareli is stuck because 50 acres of additional land, out of the total 150 acres committed by the Uttar Pradesh government is pending.
A recent report published on a 'Medical Dailogues' website states that only OPD services and MBBS classes have been started.
Hence, AIIMS Raebareli is still not fully functional.
Since the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government came to power in 2014, the opening up of fifteen new AIIMS were sanctioned under the PMSSY scheme. However, none of the AIIMS announced after 2014 is fully functional and four of them are still under various stages of construction. More information about the completion of these 16 AIIMS (including AIIMS Raebareli) can be at the official website of PMSSY.
According to Medical Dialogues, out of the16, seven AIIMS that includes Raebareli, Gorakhpur, Mangalagiri, Nagpur, Bathinda, Bibinagar, and Kalyani, MBBS classes and OPD services have been started. In five other AIIMS at Deoghar, Bilaspur, Guwahati, Rajkot, and Jammu MBBS classes have been started. Rest four AIIMS are at different stages of construction and allied activities.
On September 18th, 2020, the government also provided a 'timeline of completion' of AIIMS institute, which can be accessed here.
In conclusion, 22 AIIMS have been sanctioned to be set up under the various phases of the PMSSY scheme as of 2021. Out of these, only seven AIIMS, which includes the first AIIMS established in Delhi in 1956 and the six new AIIMS announced under the 'phase 1' of the scheme are fully functional. While the 12 AIIMS are functional but not completed and the remaining four still under various stages of construction.
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