PATNA: Ending an over three-year-old controversy over selection of location for the proposed second AIIMS in Bihar, the Centre on Saturday agreed to upgrade the Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) as another AIIMS in the state.
Responding to a request made by Bihar CM Nitish Kumar during a health department’s event in the premises of Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) here, Union minister for health and family welfare Jagat Prakash Nadda assured the state government that the DMCH would be upgraded as the second AIIMS in Bihar.
Union finance minister Arun Jaitley had announced establishment of second AIIMS in Bihar, besides the existing one in Patna, in his 2015-2016 Budget speech. But the matter of opening of the second AIIMS remained pending as the Centre earlier refused to accept the state government’s proposal to upgrade the DMCH as the second AIIMS.
Nitish, Nadda, Union minister of information technology Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union minister of state for health and family welfare Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Bihar’s deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi, state’s health minister Mangal Pandey and many other dignitaries had gathered at the PMCH premises to lay the foundation stones for establishment of a super specialty block under phase-4 of the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojna.
“The super speciality block at PMCH would be built at a cost of Rs 200 crore. Similar super speciality blocks will come up at Muzaffarpur, Darbhanga, Gaya and Bhagalpur,” principal secretary (health) Sanjay Kumar informed.
Addressing the event, Nitish asked Nadda to either upgrade the DMCH as the second AIIMS or open one AIIMS in each of 38 districts in Bihar.
Nitish also disclosed that since Ashwini Choubey hails from Bhagalpur, he wants to open the second AIIMS at Bhagalpur. “But, being the second best hospital in Bihar after the PMCH, the DMCH will be ideal location for upgradation as the AIIMS. The DMCH also has an area of more than 200 acres. Since the first AIIMS of Bihar has been opened in Patna, the south of river Ganga, the second AIIIMS must be opened in north Bihar and Darbhanga is the most ideal location,” Nitish said while batting for upgradation of the DMCH.
Nitish further lauded the works being done by state health minister Mangal Pandey and principal secretary (health) Sanjay Kumar for improvement of health services in the state.