AIIMS Odisha remains a promise unrealized

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 10:

With just a fortnight to go for D Day, it now appears certain that the dedication of the Odisha centre of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to the nation on former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s birthday on December 25 would be missed.


During his last visit to Odisha, the then Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had assured that all steps would be taken to complete all unfinished work, open new facilities at AIIMS and dedicate it to the nation on the birthday of Vajpayee, who had envisioned the project.

“The remaining work of AIIMS, Bhubaneswar will be taken up with accelerated pace to make it an ultramodern medical institute. Efforts would be made to strengthen the infrastructure atf AIIMS, Bhubaneshwar and make it better and more advanced than AIIMS, New Delhi to fulfil the dreams of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee,” the Health minister had said.

There has been an exodus of sorts in this premier health institute of the state, which was expected to attract the best of talent from across the country. Out of the 74 doctors who were recruited initially, eight have already left their jobs.

“Another 25 doctors are seriously contemplating quitting. If some of us are still here, it is only because of our strong connection with the land and its language. However, this bond may not last forever if things don’t change for good,” said a disgruntled doctor speaking to OST on condition of anonymity.

Lack of quality work, infrastructure and adequate service benefits in terms of salary, pension schemes, emergency allowances etc have been the biggest factors for this sorry state of affairs, he said.

Ashok Kumar Mohapatra, director of the institute agrees that the institute has not been able to attract the best in the business. “We are not able to find quality doctors even though we have published advertisements many times. Also, the missing super-specialty facilities of certain departments affect the remaining ones due to their inter-dependence,” he said.

The director, however, wishes not to intervene in the roles of the government and managing committee. “Treating and supervising the treatment of hundreds of patients visiting us everyday is my priority and I am focussed on that,” said Mohapatra.

Not just teachers and patients, even the students are suffering here in the absence of proper infrastructure and lack of faculties. “The students had planned for a protest during the visit of the minister. However the management persuaded us to refrain from it,” said a student.

To make matters worse, the management committee of the institute hasn’t called even a single coordination meeting to sort out these issues since its inauguration. The promises of 300 beds, fully functional operation theatre, ICU and other construction related works are a far cry.

The blame for this appalling state of affairs in this premier institute is being laid at the doors of both the state and union governments.

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