“Our country needs a holistic health care system that is universally accessible, affordable and effective. To achieve this objective, my government will formulate a New Health Policy and roll out a National Health Assurance Mission,” President Pranab Mukherjee said addressing the joint sitting of both houses of parliament.
He added that the mission will promote naturopathy and AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy).
The president said that to address the shortfall of health care professionals, health education and training will be transformed.
India has a shortage around 6.4 million allied health professionals, according to a study.
Mukherjee also said, “AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) like institutes will be established in every state in a phased manner.”
At the moment, there are eight AIIMS-like institutes in the country.
Recognised in Southeast Asia as a centre of excellence in the field of medical sciences, education and research, the premier All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has inspired the government to set up similar super-speciality institutes in other states.
With the aim to provide similar kind of multi-speciality facilities at affordable rates in other states, the Congress-led UPA government in 2006 approved the setting up of six AIIMS like institutions.
But the idea was first proposed in 2003 by the then Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government. It was, however, cleared in 2006 by then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The six institutes are in Patna (Bihar), Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), Bhubaneswar (Orissa), Jodhpur (Rajasthan), Raipur (Chhattisgarh) and Rishikesh (Uttarakhand).
These institutes will also provide undergraduate medical education for 100 students a year.
In 2009, the government approved two more such institutes, taking the final number to eight. The two AIIMS-like institutes are being set up at Raiganj (West Bengal’s North Dinajpur district) and Rae Bareli (Uttar Pradesh). Rae Bareli is the Lok Sabha constituency of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.