New Delhi: In its effort to expand the infrastructure to provide better education and health services across the country, the Union Health Ministry has decided to open AIIMS-like institutions in all the state capitals over the next plan period.

Apart from opening All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) like hospital-cum-college, the Ministry also plans to open at least 50 government medical colleges, mostly in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan, over the next five years.

At present, there are 149 government medical colleges across the country. As per the present five-year-plan, 21 government medical colleges are proposed to be opened in the country.

According to highly placed sources in the Ministry, after the success of current five-year-plan, the Ministry is giving thrust on appointing more doctors in the next five-year-plan.

However, it is also proposed that instead of building up a new structure, already existing hospitals of  medical colleges can be upgraded to the status of AIIMS. Presently, the project of opening AIIMS-like institutes is already being implemented in six states. Moreover, plan to open such institutes in two other states is also underway.

According to the sources, the ministry has also shown some kind of promptness in establishing  government medical college in order to reduce the crunch of doctors.

As per the plans, the Ministry will invest Rs 40 crore in every college. While the total cost to open the new medical colleges, Rs 2000 crore, would be borne out by the Centre, it will be up to state governments to allocate land for the project.

Planning Commission is expected to decide and give a final shape to the proposal of Ministry of Health over the next few months.

JPN/ Bureau