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AIIMS Kozhikode: Kerala hopes for breakthrough in high-level meetings

The Kerala Government is reportedly pinning its hopes on some high-level meetings scheduled for later this month to take forward the proposal to set up an All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Kozhikode.

This comes against the backdrop of a perceived delay on the part of the Union government in approving the project even as the State is going ahead with land acquisition from local residents in Kinalur and Kanthalad villages for the purpose. Around 150 acres of government land have already been readied for the project.

While replying to a question from John Brittas of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in the Rajya Sabha, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Bharati Pravin Pawar recently said the proposal had not been approved in the current phase of the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana. Along with this, apprehensions have also been raised over the new notification issued by the National Medical Commission related to allocation of medical colleges in States. According to the notification, 100 MBBS seats can be allocated for a population of 10 lakh. Kerala, with a population of around 3.5 crore, can get a maximum of 3,500 seats thus. The State already has 21 medical colleges with 4,505 MBBS seats.

However, sources pointed out that the State government has resolved to get the project for Kozhikode. K.V. Thomas, former Union Minister and the Kerala government’s special representative in New Delhi, told The Hindu on Sunday that this had already been given in writing to the Union government. Thomas said that the issue was taken up during his recent meeting with the Union Health Secretary. “A conference of State Health Ministers and officials has been planned in Kochi later this month. I have requested the Union Health Secretary to hold a meeting with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan during the event,” he said. It is learnt that Vijayan is also scheduled to meet the Union Health Minister in New Delhi in the coming weeks, where the AIIMS proposal is likely to be taken up.

Thomas expressed hope that a favourable announcement could be expected either this month or by October. Four States, including Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are on the list of States where the institutes would be approved, he added. The Hindu

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