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Parliamentary Committee 'aghast' over shortcomings in planning of PM health programme

ANI | Updated: Dec 21, 2018 20:28 IST

New Delhi, Dec 21 (ANI): A Parliamentary Committee has made stinging observations over the planning of the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) scheme, saying it was "aghast" to note the "shortcomings" and "deficiencies" in it.
The Public Accounts Committee said the Health Ministry has not formulated any guidelines for the implementation of the flagship scheme. It asked the ministry to remove the "bottlenecks" and streamline approvals for the timely execution of the future projects under the programme.
The PMSSY was announced in August 2003 with the objective of correcting imbalances in the availability of tertiary healthcare services and improving the quality of medical education in India, noted the committee headed by Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge in its report tabled in the Lok Sabha on Friday.
In March 2006, the government approved Phase-I of the PMSSY which included setting up of six AIIMS like institutions (later renamed as AIIMS) and upgradation of 13 existing state government medical colleges/institutions (GMCIs).
The government had later decided to increase the number of new AIIMS to be set up and GMCIs to be upgraded in subsequent phases. Accordingly, 20 new AIIMS were to be set up and 71 GMCIs upgraded in six phases.
"The performance audit of the implementation of the scheme covering the period from 2003-04 to 2016-17 brought out inadequacies in planning and financial management coupled with poor contract management and execution of works as well as lack of synchronisation and coordination of activities..." the Committee said.
These, the report said, resulted in "undue delays as well as additional costs that frustrated achievement of the intended benefits and full achievement of the objectives of the scheme."
The Committee said it was "aghast to note the shortcomings/deficiencies in planning of the scheme and therefore, recommend the (Health) Ministry/AIIMS to streamline the bottlenecks in planning and approval for the timely execution of the future projects under the scheme." (ANI)