Long term vision of establishing AIIMS to general wellness among population: Vardhan

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New Delhi, Jan 12 (PTI) While the short-term objective of establishing new AIIMS in various parts of India is to reduce the 'gaps' in affordable tertiary healthcare, the long-term vision is to generate wellness among the general population, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Tuesday.

He, through a video-conference, presided over the commencement of the first batch of MBBS students of AIIMS Guwahati in the presence of Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Ashwini Kumar Choubey.

Vardhan took the occasion to remind the audience of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of health for all, the Health Ministry said in a statement.

AIIMS Guwahati was part of new prestigious institutions that were conceived under the 5th Phase of the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojna (PMSSY). 'While the short-term objective of establishing new AIIMS in various parts of India is to reduce the 'gaps' in affordable tertiary health care, the long-term vision is to generate wellnesses amongst the general population of India,' Vardhan was quoted as saying in the statement.

Elated at the possibility of better care for the people of Assam, he said, 'This shall be a 750 bedded hospital with multiple specialty as well as super specialty departments. It is one of the most ambitious projects with a total outlay of Rs 1,123 crore, which includes an allocation of Rs 185 crore towards state-of-the art medical equipment.' The minister said he was hopeful that the project would be completed at the earliest.

On the government's aim of striving to achieve the WHO target of doctor-patient ratio of '1 for every 1000' by this year itself, he noted that from Academic Session 2013-14 onwards, the total number of MBBS seats in the six new AIIMS has gone up to 600, providing an opportunity to an additional 300 aspirants. With the addition of new AIIMS, including AIIMS Guwahati, the overall availability of MBBS seats in the country has risen to 42,545 in government institutions. 'These MBBS seats will see a further increase in the future as AIIMS, Guwahati shifts from its temporary campus to the permanent one, and infrastructure and human resources augmentation takes place. AIIMS, Guwahati shall have 125 MBBS seats, including for EWS students. In addition, it shall have 60 nursing students in due course of time,' he stated.

Vardhan also informed of the government's endeavour to increase the overall availability of MBBS seats to 80,000.

'I always encourage young and bright minds to choose the medical profession because the doctor-patient relationship is guided by the best of human virtues such as altruism, compassion and the desire to alleviate human suffering,' he was quoted as saying in the statement.

Reminding the young professionals about the sacrifice being continuously made by lakhs of frontline medical personnel during the COVID-19 pandemic, he said, 'Like everywhere else in the world, doctors and health workers in India have also held fort and have been at the forefront of the country's battle against the pandemic. The nation owes them a deep debt of gratitude.' Dedicating this event to Swami Vivekananda and the youth in whom he saw a new resurgent India, Choubey coined the slogan 'Delhi hoya Guwahati; Apnidesh Apni Mati' to best convey the prime minister's hard work to ensure quality medical care for people of all regions in the country, the statement stated.

He said, 'The central government's initiative in setting up new AIIMS and upgradation of GMCs under PMSSY in the different states is a concerted step in the right direction to promote regional spread of super specialty healthcare and its accessibility.' Thanking the prime minister for his undiluted attention to the North East, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said, 'The investment in the North East region over the last 6 years is beginning to show results as the region becomes more developed and confident of itself.' PTI PLB AAR AAR