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Centre launches Rs 400 crore worth facilities at AIIMS, Bilaspur

A slew of new healthcare facilities including Radiation Oncology, 128 Slice CT Scanner and a Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) plant were inaugurated at AIIMS Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh by the Chief Guest, Jagat Prakash Nadda, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha in the presence of Dr Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare & Chemical and Fertilizers and Anurag Thakur, Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting & Youth Affairs and Sports. Jai Ram Thakur, Leader of Opposition and Former Chief Minister, Himachal Pradesh was also present on the occasion. He also laid the foundation stone for a Vishram Sadan (night shelter) at AIIMS Bilaspur. The addition of these services will significantly enhance the healthcare infrastructure in the Himalayan state and will immensely benefit the people of neighbouring states as well, marking a new era in patient care.

Addressing the gathering, J P Nadda said that “the Union Government has been proactively working for the transformation of the health sector which can not only be witnessed in the expansion of the AIIMS network but also in other areas of the Health sector like the doubling of medical colleges, increase in MBBS and PG seats, creation of nursing colleges, Ayushman Arogya Mandirs and many other similar policies.”

Nadda said “today our health policy embraces a holistic approach, emphasizing on preventive measures to avoid diseases in the first place. Our focus extends beyond prevention to include curative, palliative, and rehabilitative healthcare.” He highlighted that because of the launch of Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY), the world’s largest healthcare coverage scheme in India, all eligible people in Himachal Pradesh are completely insured today.

He also informed about other achievements in the health sector in the last 10 years which include 64% increase in TB notifications and more than 80% success in treatment of TB cases, reduction in prices of stents and medicines and facilitating their wider reach across the nation through the expansion of Jan Aushadhi Kendras, promoting holistic healthcare through the creation of AYUSH blocks in medical institutes like AIIMS, creation of bulk drug parks etc.

Underlining the importance of an effective leadership in bringing about transformational impact in society, Nadda stated that, “until a few years back, it was unimaginable to believe that an AIIMS like institute could come up in a region like Bilaspur. This was made possible only due to the sincere efforts of the Union Government towards bringing healthcare services to the last mile”. “Similarly, a lot of fear and apprehension were created during the Covid-19 pandemic which was a once in a century pandemic. However, the Hon’ble Prime Minister was successful in bringing the whole country together in containing the spread without the need for use of force or other violent measures that were witnessed across the world”, he further stated.

J P Nadda concluded his address by congratulating the healthcare workers at AIIMS Bilaspur and encouraging them to provide the best services in the region in keeping with the spirit of the “AIIMS culture”.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Mansukh Mandaviya said “it is a moment of celebration that 12 new facilities in AIIMS Bilaspur have been inaugurated or foundation stone laid today, the cumulative cost of which is more than Rs 400 crore.”

Highlighting how the government has converted challenges into opportunities, the Union Health Minister pointed out that “despite the enormous challenges brought forward by the Covid-19 pandemic which disrupted healthcare services around the world, including in some developed countries, the healthcare system in India not only withstood the pressure but is today more prepared than ever in addressing such challenges”. “Most of the healthcare infrastructure that have been created in the last 10 years like LMO plants, installation of advanced medical equipment and cutting-edge machinery in AIIMS and other medical institutions is to ensure preparedness of the health sector especially in dealing with health emergencies”, he stated.

Dr Mandaviya said that the Union Government is working to bring healthcare services to the last mile and in pursuit of that endeavour, many new medical colleges, nursing colleges and AIIMS have been opened across the nation. He said the purpose is to ensure that people don’t have to move to metro cities for availing quality medical treatment.

Anurag Thakur said that AIIMS Bilaspur took only 3 years from foundation stone laying to completion, marking another milestone in the Union Government’s effort towards bringing timely and quality health infrastructure to the last mile. He also said that once the construction of the Vishram Sadan is completed, it will give much needed relief to the people coming from the far-flung areas of the hilly region.

The dignitaries also visited Cardiac Cath Lab, Coronary Care Unit (CCU), Central Sterile Supply Department (CSSD) and Laundry in the main hospital building which were recently inaugurated by Union Health Minister, Dr Mansukh Mandaviya.

All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Bilaspur (Himachal Pradesh), an institute of National Importance with autonomous functioning under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare was conceived under Phase V of the ‘Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana’ (PMSSY) with the objective of correcting imbalances in the availability of affordable/reliable tertiary level healthcare in the country.

The radiation oncology services have been started at AIIMS with the vision to provide state-of-the-art radiotherapy treatment to the cancer patients with the cutting-edge machinery costing approximately Rs. 30 crores. With the help of advanced technology, cancer patients can be treated through High Energy Linear Accelerator (HELA), HDR Brachytherapy and 4D CT Simulator which will help in planning of treatment with precision, effectively targeting tumours while preserving the integrity of surrounding healthy tissues.

The state-of-the-art 128 slice CT scanner is installed in emergency department, AIIMS at a cost of Rs. 7 crores with generous Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funding from POWERGRID. It will provide fast and precise imaging combined with exceptional clarity in shorter time, thereby reducing waiting time for patients. This is especially beneficial for patients presenting in emergency who are critically sick and need a quick accurate diagnosis. An MRI machine will also be provided by POWERGRID at an estimated cost of Rs. 16 crores under CSR fund in next few months.

Another generous support provided by POWERGRID under CRS is the Vishram Sadan at AIIMS Bilaspur. It will be constructed with a capacity of 250 people. It will give a comfortable stay to the waiting patients and their attendants and provide protection from biting cold, harsh summer and incessant rains during monsoon. It will be ready in approximately 18 months at an estimated cost of Rs. 26.75 crores.

The Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) plant will provide AIIMS Bilaspur with round the clock oxygen supply at the bedside of patients. There are two LMO tanks and each tank can hold up to 20 kilolitres (kL) of LMO.

Prof. Vir Singh Negi, Executive Director, AIIMS Bilaspur; senior officials from the Union Government and Government of Himachal Pradesh and representatives of AIIMS Bilaspur and POWERGRID were present on the occasion.
MB Bureau

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