Delhi to get second AIIMS campus: Ramadoss

December 12th, 2008 - 3:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Anbumani RamadossNew Delhi, Dec 12 (IANS) The national capital will get a second campus of the premier All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) once land is made available for this but there is no proposal to open a similar facility in the northeast, Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss said Friday.”We are looking for land either in Delhi or in (suburban) Noida. The moment this is made available, we will move to open a second campus of AIIMS to take the load off the institute,” Ramadoss said during question hour in the Rajya Sabha.

“The institute is overworked and there is need to take the load off it,” he added.

Responding to a supplementary from the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) S.S. Ahluwlia on the steps to improve the institute’s functioning, the minister said: “This is a continuous process and we have various committees going into this.”

“Unfortunately, we know what the scenario was till recently. We went through a bad patch. I accept and admit that. We are now in the midst of an audit. We will come back on track, but it will take time.

“Things are going on a good track. There may have been one or two lapses but we are trying our best to plug the loopholes,” Ramadoss added.

The reference was to a bitter court battle with then AIIMS director P. Venugopal who was sacked at Ramadoss’ instance but reinstated in May after a six-month court battle. Venugopal subsequently retired in July.

Replying to another question, the minister, however, ruled out establishing an AIIMS-style facility in the northeastern region. He said this already existed in the form of the North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (NEIGRIMS) in Meghalaya capital Shillong.

“The government is certainly not neglecting the northeastern region when it comes to healthcare,” Ramadoss said in response to a supplementary from Birendra Prasad Baishya of the Asom Gana Parishad.

“It took time to commission NEIGRIMS because some contractors were killed and some other issues, but today, the institute is a shining example of the commitment of the government of India for providing the best of healthcare in the northeast,” he added.

The institute currently has 30-35 specialty departments and 430 beds, and efforts were being made to raise this number to 500, Ramadoss said, adding that a 100-bed cancer hospital would also be commissioned in the facility.

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