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‘The proposed Bill ignores the spirit and recommendation of the Valiathan Committee'
‘The committee at the very initial stage; Dr Valiathan invited as an expert'
NEW DELHI: Even as a high-power committee is finalising its recommendations on implementing the Valiathan Committee report granting autonomy to the existing All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Dr. M.S. Valiathan has distanced himself from another committee which was entrusted with finalising the governance architecture of the proposed six AIIMS-like institutions.
Dr Valiathan turned down the request of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to be part of a committee constituted to review the draft legislation on six AIIMS-like institutions saying that the draft had ignored the recommendations of the committee headed by him and suggested a whole lot of provisions which would make the new institutions the exact opposite of what the panel had envisaged.
The other members of the review committee include Prof Ranjeet Roy Choudhury (Medical Council of India), K.K. Talwar (PGI Chandigarh), R.C. Deka (Director AIIMS), Bakul Dholakia (Former Director IIM-Ahmedabad), Naresh Dayal (former Union Health and Family Welfare Secretary) and B.K. Prasad (Joint Secretary Ministry of Health and Family Welfare).
“I have studied the draft of the proposed Act for the establishment of six AIIMS-like institutions under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana and, to my disappointment, find that the proposed Bill has totally ignored the spirit and recommendation of the “Valiathan Committee” which made a detailed study of the AIIMS,” Dr Valiathan wrote in his letter to the Ministry.
“I do not believe I could contribute to the work at the committee and request to be dropped from its membership,” he said.
The Ministry had sent a letter to Dr Valiathan on November 4 asking him to be part of the committee that would review a draft legislation proposed by the government to run the new institutions, many of which are in the final stages of completion.
A copy of the draft was also sent along with the letter. However the Ministry received a reply on November 25 in which Dr Valiathan disassociated himself from the committee.
Expressing surprise over Dr Valiathan's decision, an official of the Ministry said that the committee was at the very initial stage and Dr Valiathan had been requested to come as an expert and share his experience.
The recommendations for the present institution are being acted upon but the very same principles of autonomy contained in his view completely disregarded for the new AIIMS-like institutions, sources close to Dr Valiathan told The Hindu.
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