Of the 1,830 sanctioned faculty posts in six AIIMS, in Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Jodhpur, Patna , Raipur and Rishikesh, only 1,035 have been filled.
Despite making all-out efforts, the government is finding it tough to fill vacancies for faculty and non-faculty staff at the six different All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Jodhpur, Patna, Raipur and Rishikesh.
These AIIMS were opened with the objective to have regional medical hubs so that the patients from these regions would not have to come to AIIMS, Delhi, for treatment. The idea to have regional AIIMS was mooted in 2004 by the then Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, but even after 16 years of the first file being moved, these AIIMS are yet to become fully operational.
As per government records, of the 1,830 sanctioned faculty posts in these six AIIMS, only 1,035 have been filled, as a result of which, 795 sanctioned posts that constitute more than 40% of the total posts, are lying vacant. In all these AIIMS, 305 faculty posts per hospital have been allotted.
The worst sufferers among these are the patients at Patna AIIMS, where only 107 doctors or around 33% of the sanctioned 305 posts are working. AIIMS Rishikesh has been able to fill 256 of the 305 faculty posts, followed by Bhubaneswar (181 posts filled) and Jodhpur (176 posts filled).
The same is the situation when it comes to the non-faculty staff in these six AIIMS. The government had sanctioned 22,656 posts for all these six AIIMS (3,776 for each of them).
However, out of that, only 11,995 have been filled (a little more than 50%). In this department, too, it is AIIMS, Patna which has performed the worst, with 2,247 of the total 3,776 posts lying vacant.
It is pertinent to mention that a large number of patients who are forced to come to Delhi for treatment come from Bihar due to lack of good medical facilities in the state and it was expected that with the opening of AIIMS, Patna, the pressure on AIIMS, Delhi would decrease substantially as the Patna hospital would cater to patients from West Bengal, Jharkhand, parts of south-east Uttar Pradesh apart from Bihar. In 2004, the government had earmarked around Rs 285 crore for each of these AIIMS, the cost of which was then revised to Rs 820 crore in 2010.
However, with AIIMS, Patna still not having enough doctors, that objective seems to have been stalled for now. The shortage of doctors, however, officials said, was a pan-India issue. According to the Medical Council of India (MCI), a total of 1,201,354 doctors were registered with the State Medical Councils and the Medical Council of India as on 30 September 2019. Out of this, the MCI assumes, 80% are available or around 9.61 lakh. This gives a doctor-population ratio of 1:1404 as per the current population estimate of 1.35 billion, against the WHO prescribed ratio of 1:1000. To counter this shortage, the government has added close to 30,000 MBBS seats across India since 2014.