The Union budget on Saturday may not have brought much increase in allocation for the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) here, but it did bring great hope of reduction in burden as three new All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) were announced for the region.
With the finance minister announcing an AIIMS each in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, and Jammu and Kashmir, the patient load at the PGIMER could come down by half.
Though no specific timelines were announced yet, PGIMER spokesperson Manju Wadwalkar was upbeat: "The new AIIMS would not only help reduce the burden on the PGIMER, but also help the institute provide better facilities."
In the break-up, Punjab alone contributes around 34% of the new patients the PGIMER's out-patient department (OPD). Himachal contributes around 10%, while J&K contributes around 3%.
Significantly, despite relentless efforts to ease the pressure, last year could not bring much relief for the PGIMER as the patient load went up by 10%, crossing the 20-lakh mark. Of the 20 lakh patients examined in various OPDs and special clinics at the institute, around 8 lakh were those who got registered at the PGIMER for first time.
In the past, even directors have lashed out at neighbouring states' governments for not upgrading their healthcare infrastructure, due to which the PGIMER remains overburdened.
How much it's got
The PGIMER has been allocated Rs 650 crore in the annual budget for 2015-16. It includes Rs 490 crore in non-plan budget to be spent on day-to-day expenditure, and Rs 160 crore for infrastructural development and new as well as ongoing projects.
For the last financial year, the institute was allocated Rs 620 crore, of which Rs 460 crore was for non-plan works and Rs 160 crore under the plan head. The PGIMER already got Rs 1,200 crore under the 12th Five-Year Plan for the planned expenditure.
New patients in OPDs and special clinics at PGIMER
Himachal Pradesh 10%
Uttar Pradesh 5%