The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court on Friday sought the response of the Union and state governments on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) to begin the functioning of an outpatient department of the All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in the city, until the main campus is constructed. A PIL filed by Pushpavanam of Madurai said that permissions have been granted for 22 AIIMS hospitals across the country and of these, six AIIMS campuses are functioning already. Construction work has already started for AIIMS in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, West Bengal and Telangana. In these places, the outpatient department has been started to treat patients.
Similarly, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat and Jammu have started the construction work for AIIMS and have started the MBBS administration process. However, in the case of AIIMS Madurai, neither the outpatient ward nor MBBS admissions have started. Hence, the petitioner sought the court to issue orders for the formation of a "project cell" with a director and other medical offers for initiating an outpatient department and MBBS admissions.
On Friday, the PIL came up for hearing before the Division Bench of Justices TS Sivagnanam and S Ananthi. The petitioner said that AIIMS Bibinagar, Telangana and AIIMS Madurai got the cabinet approval at the same time, but AIIMS Bibinagar has started admissions for MBBS classes and outpatient services from a temporary campus. Taking note of this, the bench directed the governments to file a response and sought to know whether a temporary outpatient department can be set up. The court then adjourned the case for further hearing to June 11.
In 2018, the Union government announced the establishment of AIIMS at Thoppur in Madurai and the foundation stone was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the premises in 2019. However, construction work has not begun yet.