Chandigarh, December 23
The much-awaited out-patient department (OPD) services in 12 departments at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Bathinda, kick started here on Monday.
The project worth ₹925-crore centrally-funded project, the Bathinda AIIMS was approved under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana in July 2016 and its foundation stone was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 25, 2016.
The institute will provide super-specialty and affordable healthcare facilities to the people in the south Malwa region.
The OPD services were inaugurated by the Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Monday. Meanwhile, Bathinda MP and Union food processing industry minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Punjab health minister Balbir Singh Sidhu and minister for medical education and research Om Prakash Soni, besides former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal were present at the inaugural function.
The premier healthcare institute will not only cater to needs of Punjab but also Sirsa and Fatehabad districts of neighbouring Haryana and Sri Ganganagar and Hanumangarh districts of Rajasthan. Director, post graduate institute of medical education and research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, Dr Jagat Ram will be the officiating director of the new AIIMS while process for selecting the full-time director is on.
The OPDs in the department of orthopaedic, general surgery, including surgical oncology and urologist paediatric surgery consultation, general medicine, ENT, ophthalmology, psychiatry, dermatology, gynaecology and obstetrics, dental, radiology (X- Ray, ultrasound and colour doppler, basic bio-chemistry and basic haematology will be launched on Monday.
With the lack of affordable healthcare services in the region, patients had to go to Acharya Tulsi Regional Cancer Treatment Institute at Bikaner in Rajasthan. The train from Bathinda to Bikaner still carries the tag of the ‘cancer train’. The Advanced Cancer Diagnostic Treatment and Research Centre set up by previous SAD-BJP government also couldn’t serve the purpose due to lack of doctors and facilities.