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Short of quality faculty, second-generation AIIMS have fewer footfalls


NEW DELHI: Amid a struggle to find quality faculty, none of the six second-generation All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in various parts of the country, established seven years ago, was able to deliver even one-fourth of the services provided by the premiere AIIMS in Delhi.

A report prepared by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to assess the progress made by the new AIIMS for a parliamentary standing committee on health, accessed by this newspaper, shows that only about 3,700 patients on an average sought outpatient care each day in August at AIIMS Bhubaneswar, which is the best among the six.

In terms of in-patient admissions, AIIMS Jodhpur received little more than 4,700 patients in August this year, which is less than one-fifth of the patient intake at the AIIMS Delhi per month.

“Finding quality faculty for these institutions has been the biggest challenge,” a senior ministry official conceded.

The government report indicates that the institutions meant to provide high-quality specialty and super-specialty care to patients closer to their homes have not picked up the way they were expected to.

This is despite the fact that in most of the second-generation institutions, almost all of the 17 specialties and 18 super-specialties are now functional.

Given the third generation institutes are still struggling, public health experts said the upcoming institutions might have bigger challenges ahead.

“I feel that even if faculty is present in some institutions, they have not been stabilised yet, and therefore, these AIIMS have not been able to create even a fraction of brand value that is associated with AIIMS Delhi,” said an expert on universal health care. 

Six second-generation AIIMS —one each in Patna, Jodhpur, Bhubaneshwar, Raipur, Rishikesh and Bhopal—were opened in 2012 under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana with a budget of about Rs 1,100 crore for each.

After that, the Centre announced 15 more hospitals for other tier-II cities in the country. Academic activities have not even started in about half of them, while some more are in the pipeline.