Govt plans to add over 6,000 hospital beds in two years Besides, it has also chalked out plans to set up new cancer care hospitals, apart from the already announced new All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) centres spread across several states.
In a move expected to bring major relief to patients suffering from critical diseases or needing hospital care, the government plans to ramp up tertiary care facilities across the country by adding over 6,000 beds in the next two years.
Besides, it has also chalked out plans to set up new cancer care hospitals, apart from the already announced new All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) centres spread across several states.
The planned expansion will be carried out mostly in leading public hospitals such as New Delhi’s AIIMS, Ram Manohar Lohia (RML), Safdarjung and Lady Hardinge Hospital. Apart from this, bed capacity at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGI), Chandigarh, and Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER) in Puducherry will be increased by 2018-19.
The move is aimed at providing cheaper tertiary care facilities at public health institutions as patient load at the existing centres is increasing rapidly, a senior official said. Currently, private healthcare facilities cater to over 80% of healthcare needs. However, cost of treatment at private hospitals is much more than that in AIIMS, RML or Safdarjung Hospital. This is the reason that, often, there is a long waiting list at public healthcare facilities, which provide cheap and quality care.
Government estimates show that the AIIMS OPD alone receives around 30,000-40,000 patients every day. “Private hospitals have overtaken public facilities. This has resulted in healthcare cost shooting up in a big way. To take care of the imbalance, ramping up public tertiary care facilities is necessary,” the official said.
The expansion plan at AIIMS includes augmentation of various departments such as mother and child care, trauma centre, departments of rheumatology, emergency medicine and others. The government is likely to invest Rs 1,500 crore to expand facilities at AIIMS and probably over Rs 1,300 crore for Safdarjung Hospital.
The expansion of bed strength will be carried out in wards, both general and private, as well as in super speciality care, emergency and operation theatres in different hospitals. The health ministry is also planning to upgrade government medical colleges, specialised cancer care hospitals and 11 new AIIMS with a total bed strength of 9,000.