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Six more AIIMS planned

By Our Staff Correspondent

MYSORE DEC. 21. The Deputy Prime Minister, L.K. Advani, today announced that the Centre would set up six new All-India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in various parts of the country.

Like the AIIMS in New Delhi — an autonomous institution created through an Act of Parliament in 1956 to serve as a nucleus for nurturing excellence in all aspects of health care — the new Institutes will have comprehensive facilities for teaching, research and patient care.

Inaugurating the "Parivar Kalyan Swasthya Mela" organised by the Centre and the Karnataka Government here, Mr. Advani said that though India had several super speciality hospitals, which brought patients from across the world for quality medical treatment, health care remained inaccessible to a large percentage of its poor population. Citing the Nobel Prize winner, Dr. Amartya Sen's views attributing India's inability to develop to its potential to its neglect of education and health care, he said the National Democratic Alliance Government at the Centre was making efforts to give primacy to education and health care. If progress were made in these fields, the 21st Century would belong to India. "If the 20th Century belonged to the West, with Britain dominating the world in earlier part of the century followed by Russia, Germany, Japan and the United States, the 21st Century will belong to India."

He appealed to the people to make a collective effort to ensure that each of the six lakh villages were provided with clean water, roads, schools and hospitals. The Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, V. Srinivas Prasad, emphasised the need for "Swasthya Melas" to go to the villages so that a firm foundation for health care could be laid. He cited the "Sarvashikshan Abhiyan", aimed at making primary education compulsory, and the mid-day meal scheme as among the positive steps taken by the Centre. The Minister in-charge of Mysore district, H. Vishwanath, said the State Government had set aside a corpus fund of Rs. 200 crores for setting up a trust to provide health care to farmers.

In the live telemedicine demonstration held, Madhusudan, an 11-year-old boy with heart ailment from Chamarajanagar, was given consultation at the venue by the Chairman of Narayana Hrudalaya, Devi Prasad Shetty, from Bangalore.

The Minister for Water Resources (Cauvery Basin), M. Shivanna, released the health card, while the Minister of State for Railways, Basavanagouda R. Patil Yatnal, released the referral card.

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