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Now, India's premiere medical institute AIIMS marred by irregularities and scams

By Reetu

Now AIIMS are also being marred by scams.
To spread the best medical services and education to regions beyond Delhi, the government had announced six new AIIMS institutes and they have been built too. But the institutes which were constructed in the name of 'best quality medical facilities' seems to be in shambles despite spending hundreds of crores.

As per a report in HT, the Union Health Ministry sent CK Mishra, one of its senior-most officers to inspect the medical facilities at AIIMS, Patna in March 2014. After inspecting the AIIMS, he presented his report which exposed the mess the institute was in.

"The overall experience at AIIMS, Patna was disheartening and did not inspire confidence," Mishra wrote on his return to Delhi.

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These new AIIMS were first introduced by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2003 and were set up by the UPA between 2009 and 2012. The six new institutions modelled on AIIMS were constructed in Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar, Jodhpur, Patna, Raipur and Rishikesh.

What is more surprising is that the director of AIIMS, Patna is facing grave charges of administrative and financial irregularities.

What has Mishra revealed in his report

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Explaining how the patients and students have to suffer because of the mess in AIIMS Patna, as per the HT report, Mishra's report said, "The diagnostic facilities are inadequate even from the point of view of a normal hospital, let alone an institution like AIIMS. I also visited the operation theatre which is only functional to the extent as it would in a small hospital."

He also revealed that even proper practical training could not be given to the future doctors due to lack of laboratories for pathology, microbiology and pharmacology.

It's not only AIIMS Patna, others also in line

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Only on Wednesday, a lab technician at AIIMS blew the lid off an alleged procurement scam in the Delhi AIIMS surgery department.

As per reports, even other institutes large scale cost overruns and financial irregularities. And as per HT, draft audit reports of AIIMS, Bhopal and Bhubaneshwar show several financial failures.

The HT report said, "The audit found "unauthorised payments" to the contractor responsible for setting up the main buildings on the AIIMS, Bhopal campus. Terming these as "serious irregularities," the audit committee recommended that the matter should be investigated, and "appropriate action" taken against the officials concerned."

If this is the condition of new AIIMS, what will happen to new IIT's?

AIIMS was spread to other states to provide best medical and educational facilities to the students and patients. But if this is the condition of AIIMS, then one would fear what will be the condition of the the IIT's which have been announced for better future of the students. Will the future of thousands of engineering students also hang in limbo?

AIIMS gets an annual budget of over Rs 1,300 crore

AIIMS receives an annual budget of over Rs 1,300 crore which is spent to buy drugs, medical equipment and cleaning material etc.

As per a TOI report, a review of the purchase files till financial year 2013-14, which was conducted by an inquiry committee constituted by the vigilance department said, "The committee noticed that the store (under surgery department) has procured a large number of items from 2009-2012 which were lying unused and expired on the date of physical verification (17-21 February, 2014)."

This indirectly points to the undue favours done to some suppliers.

The report also states, "While scrutinizing purchase files (of 2013-14), the committee noticed a specific trend of placing supply orders under RE mode of procurement of surgical items in which rate inquiries were received from five suppliers and two of them time and again emerged the lowest of the lot. It appears to be a case of favouritism towards these two suppliers."

Corruption in India is growing rampantly and is prevalent in the premiere institutions of our country. In the name of providing better facilities, the concerned officials are busy filling their own coffers with the taxpayers money.

The new government, after coming to power, had assured to improve the standards of India's ailing education and medical sector, but nothing substantial has been done so far. Opening new hospitals and colleges would be of no use if the condition of the existing ones is not improved.

With the Modi government at the helm what people expect is that corruption and irregularities in educational and medical sectors will soon come to an end and a better future will knock at the doorsteps of every Indian.

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