THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Union Minister for Health JP Nadda in a written communication has intimated the Kerala Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan that approval for starting an All India Institute of Medical Sciences(AIIMS), will not be given immediately. The reason cited by the Union Minister for the decision taken was the state’s delay in identifying a piece of land for the purpose.
However Health officials have waived it away describing it to be a routine reply to a communication sent to him earlier by the Kerala Chief Minister.
The Union Minister’s communication stated that the Centre does not propose to set up AIIMs in Kerala immediately, however the kerala requirement would be considered at a later stage.
The state on its part as a rejoinder to the Union Health Minister’s statement said that it had identified four places for the purpose, namely:Kinaloor in Kozhikode,Neyyatinkara Netukaltheri a place adjacent to Kottayam Medical College and last venue being a place owned by HMT in Ernakulam.
The 2015-16 Union Budget proposals, did not figure Kerala as one of the states chosen by the Centre to set up AIIMS.
In 2014, the then Union Health Minister Harshvardhan declared that under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY), all States would get AIIMS-like institutions in a phased manner.
Harshvardhan then wrote to the Chief Ministers of 13 States including Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, Punjab, Assam, Karnataka, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Haryana asking them to identify suitable areas for setting up AIIMS-like institutions.
As per the Center’s directive, the former UDF government had identified four locations based on infrastructural facilities. Despite several reminders to the Center, the site inspection was yet to happen.
The center had sought 200 acres of land with basic facilities for the project. The Former health Minister, had announced in 2014 that the state would have an AIIMS within five years.