Introducing  Regional All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to meet the demand of Advanced and Quality Medical Facility was one of the poll promises of the many politicians. Many foundation stones too were laid in the recent past. However, six existing regional AIIMS are in crisis. These six regional AIIMS in Bhubaneswar, Jodhpur, Raipur, Patna, Raipur and Rishikesh are facing a huge shortage of faculty and doctors. These regional campuses lack manpower, infrastructure, and latest healthcare facilities. The advanced medical facility is still a far dream.

The Union health ministry has directed the AIIMS administration to ask their senior faculty posted at the institute to join the regional AIIMS campuses. A senior AIIMS doctor, on condition of anonymity, said the regional AIIMS centres have a total of 1,830 posts for doctors, of which 1,100 are vacant. That means more than 60 Percent.

“Recently, the health ministry ordered AIIMS, asking their senior professors to join AIIMS located in various states. The ministry also directed other government medical colleges to join the institute,” he said.

A senior doctor posted at AIIMS, Jodhpur, requesting anonymity, said, “Here, it is a serious lack of manpower and ICU beds. If we compare with the medicine department at AIIMS Delhi, that has 12- 14 senior consultants, here we have only one senior doctor.

In neurology department, we have one doctor, while not a single one in gastroenterology division and medical oncology unit.” He added that recently recruitment process of doctors has been started but it is very slow.

He admitted that there is lack of enthusiasm among the medical fraternity to join regional AIIMS campuses.

“At Jodhpur, we have only eight ICU beds, and 30 ICU beds are still in the pipeline for many years. Even if we get the 30 ICU beds, there are no trained doctors for critical care.”

Dr Vijay Gujjar from AIIMS, Delhi, welcomed the ministry’s order. “These senior professors have nurtured Delhi AIIMS and it is growing.

If they go and join peripheral AIIMS, it can also strengthen manpower and provide efficient healthcare to the patients, this can also reduce the burden of patients at AIIMS, Delhi.”

Another senior doctor from AIIMS, Patna, said their hospital in the state is in a worse condition compared with other regional centres, and has a major crisis of professor level doctors in medicine, orthopedic, gastro surgery and other departments.

He urged the government to fix this problem urgently.

Similarly, AIIMS, Bhopal, is struggling with the lack of healthcare specialists.

“Growth is little slow and the shortage of doctors is definitely a big issue here, but in the last few days, recruitment of retired doctors has been started to fill the gap,” said a doctor posted at AIIMS, Bhopal.

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