Published: 28th January 2019
Prime Minister Narendra Modi lays foundation stone for Thoppur AIIMS four years late
It has been more than fours years since the announcement of the premier healthcare facility in the State was made. It will be built within 45 months at an allocated budget of Rs 1,264 crores
In a high-profile function at Mandela Nagar here, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Thoppur in Madurai on Sunday.
The Prime Minister who arrived in Madurai in a special flight on Sunday around 11.30 am was received by Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam at the airport.
It has been more than fours years since the announcement of the premier healthcare facility in the State was made. It will be built within 45 months at an allocated budget of Rs 1,264 crores.
The Prime Minister said that the AIIMS to be built in Thoppur would benefit the entire population of Tamil Nadu. Further, he said that after its launch three months ago, Ayushman Bharat Yojana or Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) had covered 89,000 beneficiaries in Tamil Nadu and that 1,320 health and wellness centres had been opened across the State to provide comprehensive primary healthcare.
He also stated that during the NDA rule in the last four-and-a-half years, medical seats had been increased by about 30 per cent.
After laying the foundation stone for AIIMS, Modi inaugurated the super speciality blocks at government medical college hospitals in Madurai, Tirunelveli and Thanjuvar that are built at a total cost of Rs 450 crore. The Prime Minister also dedicated 12 new Post Office Passport Seva Kendras (POPSK) in Tamil Nadu to the public.
During his address, Modi reiterated that the Centre had been giving top priority to healthcare and was making it affordable. "It is committed to strengthening healthcare initiatives to ensure universal health coverage. Consequently, medical colleges across India are being upgraded, initiatives to ensure preventive healthcare and safe pregnancy have been taken up vigorously," he pointed out.
Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha M Thambidurai, Health Minister C Vijaya Baskar, Minister for Cooperation Sellur K Raju, Minister for Revenue R B Udhayakumar and Union Minister of State for Shipping and Finance Pon Radhakrishnan also took part in the foundation stone laying ceremony.
AIIMS for Tamil Nadu was first announced in February 2015 in the budgetary speech of the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
To be built under Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY), the ambitious project received Cabinet approval on December 17 last year.
The 750-bedded premier institute will have 15-20 super speciality departments and is to house a medical college, AYUSH block, auditorium, night shelter, guest house, hostels and residential facilities. The institute will pave way for the creation of 100 MBBS seats and 60 B Sc Nursing seats.
The facility in Madurai is expected to cater to around 1,500 outpatients a day and 1,000 inpatients a month. The hospital will include Emergency/Trauma beds, AYUSH beds, private beds, ICU Speciality and Super Speciality beds.
No invocation song, national anthem played
The foundation stone laying function was organised as a State function in a specially-erected stage at Mandela Nagar near Madurai airport. Drawing flak from all quarters and deviating from the customary practice, the event commenced without the invocation song 'Tamil Thaai Vaazhthu' being played. Topping it all, the event also concluded without the national anthem being played.