Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said the six AIIMS-like (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) institutes, set up in as many states, as part of government's efforts to ramp up medical infrastructure, will be fully functional by end of the current year.
Listing UPA government's initiatives to improve health care facilities across the country, he said the project to upgrade 19 medical colleges to super-speciality hospitals was nearing completion.
The Health Minister said another 39 government medical colleges had been taken up for upgradation to super speciality hospitals.
Talking about initiatives to offer better medical care to those affected by Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) like diabetes and cancer, Azad said government has sanctioned setting up of 71 cancer institutes across the country.
Out Patient Departments were made functional in all six AIIMS-like institutes and they will be fully operational by end of the year, the minister said.
Six AIIMS-like institutes are being set up at Patna in Bihar, Bhubaneshwar in Odisha, Jodhpur in Rajasthan, Rishikesh in Uttarakhand, Raipur in Chhattisgarh and Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh.
"The aim of the government was to create more infrastructure and human resources in the health sector in the country," Azad said after inaugurating a new building at Lady Hardinge hospital here.
"We have sanctioned 71 cancer institutes across the country. It is a huge number. We'll have one national institute, we'll have 20 state level cancer institutes and 50 regional level institutes across the country," he said.
Under the National Rural Health mission (NHRM) 18,000 hospitals have been set up during UPA I and 33,000 in the last five years, the minister noted. Azad also talked about achievement in polio eradication.
"In 2009, 50 per cent of world's total polio burden was in India. We introduced a new vaccine. It was intended to just reduce the number of polio cases. But we never knew that God would be so kind to us that in 3-4 years polio will be totally eradicated from India. It was a great achievement for our country," he said.