The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has rapped the government for the delay of over 5-6 years in setting up six new All India Institutes of Medical Science (AIIMS) under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY). The project was scheduled to be completed between August 2011 and July 2013. In its report "Performance Audit on Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana" tabled in the Parliament, the CAG said that deficiencies in execution of works had a financial implication of over Rs 140 crore, including Rs 39.96 crore of excess or extra payments to contractors.
The audit report, which covered the period from 2003 to 2017, stated that several departments - 6-14 speciality, super-speciality and other departments - out of 42 sanctioned had not become functional in the new AIIMS. There were shortages of beds in the hospitals as only 152 to 546 of them were available against the requried 960 beds in each of the six new AIIMS. "1,318 equipment having estimated cost of Rs 454 crore remained undelivered as on March 31 2017 for periods up to 25 months from the due date of delivery," it said.
"The delays in procurement of equipment arose mainly from poor contract management as well as engagement of staff who lacked the requisite qualifications that undermined the quality of medical services that were being delivered by these premier institutes that were expected to adhere to the highest standards of medical education and patient care," the report pointed.
What makes the situation worse is shortage of faculty posts and non-faculty posts in the new AIIMS which ranged from 55 per cent to 83 per cent and 77 per cent to 97 per cent respectively, it stated. "Construction works were not completed by scheduled dates in any of the new AIIMS and there were delays of about four to five years," the report said.
"The six new AIIMS were holding an unutilised balance of funds of Rs 1,267.41 crore, while Rs 393.53 crore for civil works and Rs 437.28 crore for procurement of equipment is unspent with the executing agencies," the report added. The Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) was announced in August 2003 with the aim of upgradation of existing State Government Medical Colleges and Institutions (GMCIs) and setting of new AIIMS.