The works for the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Madurai was officially kicked off on Sunday as Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the institute.
Flanked by a group of Tamil Nadu ministers including Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami, Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and Health Minister Vijaya Baskar, the Prime Minister inaugurated a slew of projects in and around Madurai. After laying the foundation stone for AIIMS, he also inaugurated super speciality blocks in the government medical colleges in the districts of Tirunelveli, Thanjavur and Trichy.
Speaking at the function, Prime Minister Modi said that AIIMS in New Delhi is known for its excellent medical care, and now this brand of healthcare has now reached all four corners of the country. â€śWith AIIMS in Madurai, we can say that this brand of healthcare has been taken to all corners of the country from Kanyakumari to Kashmir to Madurai and from Guwahati to Gujarat,â€ť he said. Lauding his governmentâ€™s efforts in bringing AIIMS to Tamil Nadu, Modi said that the NDA is prioritising the health sector so that healthcare becomes affordable to everybody.
Appreciating the state governmentâ€™s initiative to address the rising concern of tuberculosis in India, Modi said, â€śI am happy to learn that the state govt is upscaling its TB-free Chennai initiative and seeking to eliminate TB in the state by 2023 itself. I compliment the state for its commitment towards the implementation of all aspects of the Revised National TB control programme.â€ť He also inaugurated 12 post office passport seva kendras in Tamil Nadu.
The function started with speeches by Edappadi K Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam.
While the Deputy Chief Minister and Chief Minister thanked Prime Minister Modi for having sanctioned AIIMS, the Chief Minister said that Tamil Nadu serves as a model state for healthcare facilities in India and urged the Prime Minister to sanction a government medical college to Ramanathapuram district in the upcoming budget.
The AIIMS was sanctioned upon the request of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. Based on her request, a team from the central government inspected five locations in Tamil Nadu -- Chengalpattu (Kanchipuram district), Sengipatti (Thanjavur district), Thoppur (Madurai district), Perundurai (Erode district), and Pudukkottai (Pudukkottai district), and chose Thoppur in Madurai district in June 2018. The 750-bed teaching hospital will have facilities to accommodate 100 MBBS students and 60 nursing students.
The proposal was approved by the Union Cabinet in December 2018 and an official statement said that the AIIMS will be set up under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY). The institute will be set up on an outlay of Rs 1,500 crore.