Union Budget 2013: AIIMS clones welcome Rs 1650 crore allocation

Finance minister P Chidambaram's proposed allocation of Rs 1,650 crore for six AIIMS-like institutions will help complete construction work and purchase of equipment at the AIIMS clones, AIIMS Bhubaneswar director Dr Ashok Kumar Mahapatra said. 

Coming up on a 100-acre campus at Sijua village on the city outskirts, AIIMS Bhubaneswar has admitted the first batch of 50 MBBS students in September last year and is planning to begin hospital service later this year. "The hospital attached to the college will be partly functional by July this year. However, we will take some more time before starting surgeries as we want to make sure that we have the standard infrastructure in place," the director said. 

Welcoming the budget allocation, Dr Mahapatra said the government had been giving due importance to the upcoming centres of excellence. 

Sources said the city AIIMS is likely to get over Rs 250 crore of the allotted money. At present, AIIMS Bhubaneswar has over 20 faculty members. The selection process to recruit at least 20 more has been completed and they would join soon. The intake of undergraduate students is likely to increase to 100 in the next academic year. The institute also plans to start post graduate courses in some disciplines. 

Over 95% of the construction work is complete except for hostels and staff quarters, which are over 80 per cent complete, hospital sources said. Since hostels are not yet ready, students now stay at the Biju Patnaik Police Academy, around 2 km from the campus.

The proposed 960-bed hospital, under the PradhanMantriSwasthyaSurakshaYojana, is supposed to have 15 super speciality and 18 speciality wards. Prime minister AtalBihariVajpayee had in 2003 laid foundation stone for the institute. Besides Bhubaneswar, the AIIMS clones are coming up in PatnaRaipur, Bhopal, Jodhpur and Rishikesh at an initial estimated cost of Rs 840 crore each. 

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