Tatsat Chronicle Magazine

Inauguration Of AIIMS-Deogarh Marks Another Step Towards Boosting Health Care In India

The world-class medical institution that will be coming up in Jharkhand will help in improving medical services in one of the most backward states in India
July 15, 2022
AIIMS Deogarh

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a new AIIMS in the Deoghar district of Jharkhand, which would be constructed at the cost of ₹1,100 crore. Modi opened the new In-Patient Department and Operation Theatre paving the way for the state to have a world-class medical facility.

This was the 16th AIIMS which has been inaugurated in the country, signalling a major push for the health sector by the government. Established first in 1956 in Delhi, six more AIIMS were set up under Phase-1 of the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) between 2006 and 2014. The PMSSY scheme was launched during Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s NDA government in 2003. The scheme was carried forward by the UPA 1 & 2 governments. When the Modi government came to power in 2014, PMSSY was further expanded with the announcement for developing 16 more AIIMS,  which will be completed over eight phases up to 2024.

On February 4, 2022, the  Union health minister, Mansukh Mandaviya, in a written reply to Lok Sabha, said among the five remaining AIIMS, the Centre has set January 2025 as the deadline for completion of AIIMS-Awantipora in Kashmir and October 2026 for AIIMS-Madurai in Tamil Nadu to be ready for patient care.

The AIIMS at Deoghar is being constructed with a state-of-the-art multi-speciality 750-bed hospital, 100-seater academic college, 1000-seater auditorium, hostel and residential facilities for the staff and night shelter facilities. The architecture of the buildings is inspired from the nearby Baidyanath Temple. The campus also has the tallest residential towers of 23 floors in Jharkhand. Built in a sprawling campus of over 230 acres, this hospital is the largest in Jharkhand. NBCC Limited awarded the contract for the construction of AIIMS complex to NKG Infrastructure Limited in 2019.

Officials at the Health Ministry said that this new healthcare facility, whose foundation stone was laid in 2018, was expected to achieve the dual purpose of providing super specialty health care to the population and appointing a huge pool of new doctors. Ahead of his visit to Jharkhand, Modi tweeted about the institute and that it was in line with his government’s commitment to providing top quality healthcare services.

Officials further said that setting up of such medical institutes was not only helping in providing better health facilities to citizens, but also resulted in a substantial increase in the number of medical seats and the overall number of doctors in the country. As per available information, the number of undergraduate medical seats in the country has increased by almost 80%, climbing to 90,000 in 2022 in comparison to around 51,000 before 2014. Similarly, post-graduate seats have also witnessed a major growth with a 93% rise in the last eight years with numbers climbing from 31,000 to 60,000.

In 2003, Vajpayee in his Independence-Day speech announced the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana scheme. He announced that under the scheme six new hospitals with modern facilities, like those available at AIIMS in Delhi, will be established in backward states over the next three years. After Vajpayee was voted out of power within nine months, the scheme also went into deep freeze.

The scheme was revived by the Manmohan Singh-led UPA-1 government in 2006, which included cabinet approval, acquisition of land, construction, and commissioning of the six AIIMS, which carried over to the UPA-2 government until 2014.

Since 2014, when Narendra Modi came to power, that the development of AIIMS institutes has seen a major jump.

On February 18, 1956, Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, who was the health minister in Jawaharlal Nehru’s cabinet, introduced a bill in Lok Sabha for establishing world-class institute and hospital in the country. The bill was adopted in May 1956, and it became the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences Act, 1956. Kaur also donated about 100 acres of land for construction of AIIMS in Delhi. Interestingly, the first AIIMS was proposed be set up in Calcutta—now known as Kolkata—but after the then Chief Minister of West Bengal, Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy, refused permission, the institute was set up in Delhi.




Girja Shankar Kaura

The writer is a Delhi-based freelance journalist, who has reported and written on a wide range of subjects in an extensive career.