The federal government of India is said to be planning to construct as many as eight integrated health facilities in the next few years across the country. They will be modeled after the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in the national capital of New Delhi.
Only the project is considered extremely ambitious, even unrealistic, given that even the six announced two years ago are yet to get off the boards.
The proposal for setting up AIIMS-like institutions was first made in 2003, but finally given the cabinet nod three years later.
Patna, Raipur, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Jodhpur and Rishikesh, all in the more backward pockets were to have such sophisticated hospitals. The idea obviously was to take state-of-the-art healthcare to regions that have failed to make much of a progress since Independence.
It was decided that each site would be taken up as a separate and independent project instead of clubbing all the six together.
Again construction of teaching and housing facilities were delinked. Still not much of a progress.
It is all caught up in bureaucratic muddle, sleaze and worse. Still the government is all set announced construction of two more such hospitals, one in West Bengal and another in Uttar Pradesh.
Besides five existing hospitals in Nagpur, Himachal Pradesh, Amritsar, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh are to be upgraded.
Federal Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss has told the Times of India, "The AIIMS prototypes in UP and Bengal are in the planning stages. They should be finalised in a month's time. The six others earlier announced should be ready in the next three years even though they are a little behind track."
Joint Secretary in the Health Ministry B K Prasad said the layout and master plans of the hospital sites at Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Jodhpur and Rishikesh had already been approved. The approval of the master plans for Patna and Raipur was expected on March 25.
Meanwhile, the Rajasthan State Road Development Corporation construction has started construction work on the residential complex (housing and hostel) in Jodhpur. The work relating to construction of the residential complex at Rishikesh, Patna, Bhubaneswar and Raipur has been entrusted to two different agencies.
Prasad said, "Hostel construction in the other sites will start latest by June and should be completed by December 2009. Hospital construction should start by October and will take 24 months to complete. Each hospital will have 960 beds with 29 super-specialty departments."