One irresponsible statement by minister delaying AIIMS in Gujarat

Editor’s note

Minister Nitin Patel’s one irresponsible statement has created an issue that is hurting Gujarat.

Minister during his Rajakot visit last year in July made an announcement in a public function that either Rajkot or Vadodara would get All India Institute of Medical Science(AIIMS), proposed in Gujarat.

Next day this announcement was carried out prominently in local newspapers in Rajkot as well as in Vadodara.

Patel’s statement created trouble at both the places.

While Vadodara and areas around Vadodara in entire central Gujarat started movement to bring AIIMS in Vadodara, the entire Saurashtra region started a similar movement to ensure AIIMS entry in Rajkot. Local media, organizations, politicians all joined in.

Generally, the state government would finalize one place and proposed it for AIIMS, but here due to Nitin Patel’s irresponsible statement, the state government had to show two pieces of land – one in Rajkot and another in Vadodara for AIIMS to visiting central government team.

Already facing trouble of Patidar caste agitation, the Gujarat government can most possibly face another trouble if any of two locations is chosen for AIIMS. If centre chooses Rajkot(which is more likely), the people of Vadodara would feel let down, if AIIMS location is Vadodara, then entire Saurashtra and possibly Kutch would feel let down(and in that case intense agitations can’t be ruled out).

Perhaps therefore the union cabinet when declared three new AIIMS yesterday, Gujarat was skipped. If Nitin Patel had not delivered that ‘Rajkot or Vadodara’ statement last year, then there was no problem. The government could take decision within four walls of office and straight away chose one location. Patel revealed very basic stage of decision process to public and made not just two cities, but two regions(central Gujarat and Saurashtra) of Gujarat rivaling with each other.

It should be mentioned that the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, yesterday gave its approval for setting up of three new All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AllMS) at Nagpur in Maharashtra, at Manglagiri in Andhra Pradesh and at Kalyani in West Bengal under Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojna (PMSSY). This involves financial implication of Rs.4949 crore.

This approval is in accordance with the announcement made by Union Finance Minister in his Budget Speech 2014-15 establishing new AIIMS at these places. This also fulfills the promise made under the Andhra Pradesh re-organization Act 2014 that provides for establishment of one AIIMS type institute in the successor State of Andhra Pradesh.

Worth noting that AIIMS for Gujarat was also proposed in budget proposed in July 2014 by Union Finance Minister.

The new AIIMS will be established as institutes of national importance for providing quality medical education, nursing education and also to provide tertiary healthcare facilities to the people of these locations. The proposed institution shall have a hospital with capacity of 960 beds. In addition, there shall be a teaching block, administrative block, AYUSH block, auditorium, nursing college, night shelter, hostel and residential facilities.

Of the total expenditure of Rs. 4949 crore, the cost of the new AIIMS at Manglagiri in Andhra Pradesh will be to the tune of Rs. 1618 crore, at Nagpur in Maharashtra of Rs.1577 crore and at Kalyani in West Bengal of Rs. 1754 crore.

Setting up of these AIIMS will address regional imbalances in availability of affordable and reliable tertiary health care services in these regions. It will augment the facilities of quality medical education and would also address the shortfall of health care professionals in these regions.

The large populations of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra (Vidarbha) and West Bengal along with adjoining States and region will be beneficiary of this project.

Six new AIIMS under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojna (PMSSY) have been made functional. Also construction of AIIMS, Rae Barely is under progress.

– DeshGujarat