Centre proposes 6 AIIMS-grade super-speciality hospitals in UP under PMSSY-3

The centre proposes to convert six government medical college hospitals in Uttar Pradesh to modern super-speciality institutions, along the lines of the prestigious All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), under Phase 3 of the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY).

The six institutions set for major upgradation also include union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan's alma mater in Kanpur - Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Memorial (GSCM) Medical College.

Addressing a meeting in Kanpur, the minister said it was the high disease burden of UP (which also has the largest population among India's states), that prompted him to add two more colleges to the already cleared list of government medical colleges for upgradation under Phase 3 of the PMSSY.

''I attach high priority to UP and have been here twice already in my three month-long tenure. As I had been a medical student in Kanpur, I happen to know that the need of the hour is to expand the infrastructure at an unprecedented rate because we have to make up for many years of neglect,'' the health minister said.

Dr Vardhan was a MBBS and MS student at GSVM Medical College in Kanpur between 1974 and 1983. This medical college's upgrade is to be put on the fast-track as it services a large population with no comparable facility anywhere in and around Kanpur, the minister stated.

''I have decided not only to release funds under PMSSY for Kanpur, but also include it under other schemes like National Cancer Control and the Infectious Diseases Control Laboratory programme of the Department of Health Research,'' Dr Harsh Vardhan said.

The other five medical collages that are being upgraded to AIIMS grade include the Sarojini Naidu Medical College besides the government medical colleges at Gorakhpur, Allahabad, Meerut and Jhansi that are already under the third phase of the programme.

Earlier, the Institute of Medical Sciences at Varanasi, the Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute at Lucknow and the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College at Aligarh have been upgraded under PMSSY.

Under PMSSY-3 the central and state governments contribute on an 80-20 basis for establishing tertiary healthcare facilities by upgrading the existing facilities. The health minister held a meeting on Sunday in Kanpur circuit house with the UP government's principal secretary (medical education) BS Bhullar, special secretary (medical education) Dr Arindam Bhattacharya and director-general (medical education) Prof K K Gupta. Sundeep Nayak, Joint Secretary, union health ministry, was also present.

Meanwhile, Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, former union minister and now MP from Kanpur, met the minister and requested him to raise the standards of GSVM Medical College. Its present bed strength is 1619. Every year 190 MBBS and 113 MD/MS and 9 DM/MCh students pass out, he pointed out.

The health minister also held consultations with students and non-teaching staff of the hospital and took stock of the land availability in the campus for upgrading it to the super-speciality level.

He reminded the officials that given Kanpur's space crunch, it may be difficult to get enough land for a well-spread campus and hospital.

''I would urge the authorities to go in for maximum floor-area utilisation. The upcoming super-speciality hospital should be a vertical structure to accommodate as many patients, visitors and faculty as possible,'' Dr Harsh Vardhan added.

Later in the day the minister addressed doctors of Kanpur city working in the government and private sector organised by the IMA College of General Practitioners (Kanpur sub-faculty).

Dr Harsh Vardhan urged the medical community of the city to work hard in the area of preventive health with special emphasis on reducing maternal and child mortality rates.

Given the resource crunch, it is imperative to reach for out-of-box solutions in order to achieve ''health for all'' in society, he stressed.