The city’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) is getting a Rs 9,053-crore makeover that will more than double its institutional and clinical facilities and take the number of hospital beds from 2,084 now to at least 5,000 by 2024. The master plan, which received the approval of the Union Cabinet on February 28, will integrate the fragmented campus spread over 213.12 acre and across five land parcels separated by Delhi’s arterial roads. On average, the daily footfall in the outpatient department (OPD) of the hospital is 15,000, with the numbers projected to double over the next two to three decades. In 2016-17, 3.5 million patients were treated in the OPD, 170,000 surgeries done, and 200,000 people treated in the in-patient department of AIIMS. “It’s a very exciting project that has been planned keeping in mind future expansion over the next 40-50 years. The Prime Minister [Narendra Modi] said it should be ready by March 2024, that it has to be done,” said Dr Randeep Guleria, director, AIIMS. “It’s going to be a huge effort [redeveloping a functioning hospital), but we’ve taken it on,” he said. The main campus on East Ansari Nagar is 107.6 acre, of which around 42.2 percent of the land is used for institutional and clinical work. The preliminary assessment report proposes raising land use for institutional and clinical use to 68 percent. “In the last five years, Modiji’s government has brought transformative change to the healthcare sector by establishing 16 new AIIMS and launching the Ayushman Bharat Yojna, among other initiatives. The master plan, too, will improve patient facilities and establish AIIMS as a world-class university,” said Union minister for health and family welfare JP Nadda, who, as the country’s health minister, is also the president of AIIMS.
“The redevelopment focuses on increasing patient services by reorganizing land use through redevelopment, vertical expansion and consolidation to optimize the infrastructure for patient care, teaching, research, and administration and support,” said Nadda. Campus housing will be moved to West Ansari Nagar behind Safdarjung Hospital to open up the main campus for institutional and clinical work. “The main campus, where the hospitals and patients have already encroached into the residential part, will be demolished and turned into a hospital, academic and research center, and residential houses and hostels for students will be built across the road and behind the AIIMS Trauma Center, where we have some land,” said Dr Guleria. An integrated expansion effort was long overdue, said doctors who have seen AIIMS grow over the past four decades. “Patients visiting AIIMS have grown substantially, but the infrastructure has not kept pace. Since it was set up in 1956, the number of departments has gone up from 10 to at least 50, faculty has increased from 80 to 800, and the number of MBBS students, post graduate students, senior residents, and research scholars have crossed 5,000… There has been some need-based expansion, but it’s been haphazard and added to the chaos,” said Dr MC Mishra, former director, AIIMS, who joined the institute as a senior resident in 1980. – Hindustan Times