PAC shocked by failure of Health Ministry to complete 6 AIIMS projects

(UNI) The Public Accounts Committee of Parliament has noted with dismay that the approval for establishment of the six new All India Institute of Medical Sciences at Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Jodhpur, Patna, Raipur and Rishikesh was granted by the government in March 2006 for completion by March, 2009 but none of the works, except those relating to residential complexes, had commenced within the period.

It was aghast to note that the Health and Family Welfare Ministry had miserably failed to ensure completion of projects within 18 months from the commencement of work.

The Committee was perturbed to note that state Project Monitoring Committees, formed to monitor the progress of the new AIIMS, had not been constituted for the two new AIIMS at Raipur and Rishikesh. The stipulated meetings were not held in the rest of the four AIIMS.

Tabled in Parliament recently, the report said that it was surprised to note that the target dates were not achieved in any of the new AIIMS with delays ranging from four to five years even after the completion of second deadline.

It noted with displeasure that 1,381 items of equipment with estimated cost of Rs 454 crore out of the total procurement orders for 5,834 equipment amounting to Rs 791 crore remain undelivered as on March 31, 2017 with delays up to 25 months.

The 22-member Committee is chaired by Congress floor leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and has 15 members from the Lower House and seven from the Upper House.

It also noted that the delays were due to non-readiness of site, non-acceptance of equipment by the institutes, reluctance on the part of vendors to make supplies due to delay in issue of delivery receipts certificate and submission of invoices and individual AIIMS have different status of progress of those civil works and recruitment and the vendors were requested to deliver the equipment at a later date so as to synchronise with site readiness and manpower availability in the six new AIIMS.

The PAC was dismayed to observe non-installation of equipment resulted in delays in operationalisation of the critical healthcare facilities and deprived patients of diagnostic benefits. It desired the Ministry to urgently take steps for prompt and timely administrative action and effective monitoring in the procurement process of the state-of-the-art equipment for early delivery and apprise them of the action initiated in this regard.

It recommended Health and Family Welfare Ministry to do a survey of all existing Employee State Insurance Corporation medical colleges and hospitals and desire that those having infrastructure of the level of AIIMS may be taken over by the Centre in consultation with the Ministry of Labour and Employment for upgradation to new AIIMS.

It noted that out of the total fund of Rs 3,285.03 crore made available during 2011-17 to the six AIIMS that is Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Jodhpur, Patna, Raipur and Rishikesh, Rs 2017.62 crore was utilised leaving an unspent balance of Rs 1,267.41 crore as of March, 2017.

The Committee said the Ministry has sanctioned 305 faculty and 3,776 non-faculty post for each of the six AIIMS. However, the shortage against various faculty and non-faculty post in different AIIMS ranged from 55

per cent to 83 per cent and 77 per cent respectively restricting the functioning of various Departments and ultimately resulting in failure to provide treatment of required quality to the patients.

It was astounded to note that the Ministry failed to provide adequate number of beds for patients which is a basic requirement for proper service delivery and quality patient care.

The PAC has recommended the Ministry to steadfastly formulate and implement the common recruitment process urgently for all the AIIMS so that the required quality of treatment is dispensed to the patients.