The PCMS Association on Thursday demanded that the state government should immediately take over the Punjab Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) in Jalandhar that has fallen sick, even opposing chief minister Parkash Singh Badal's assertions that the entire asset on the public land would be given to private hands.
"The PCMS Association opposes any such move of handing over the Rs. 2,500 crore infrastructure to private players, which was built on the public land by the hard-earned public money," PCMS association president Dr Gagandeep Singh Shergill said in a statement here.
"There are also indications that it will be handed over to a private hospital located in Mohali," Dr Shergill said, amid the rumours that Max Healthcare would bid for the PIMS in case the state government notified to sell it off completely to private players.
Dr Shergill said the idea behind the PIMS was to start an institute in Punjab on the lines of All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi, in 1990s. Finally, the PIMS property worth Rs. 2,500 crore was allotted to PIMS Medical Education Charitable Society in 2009, a private entity headed by Punjab rural development minister Surjit Singh Rakhra on 99-year lease "for peanuts" in 2009, he said.
"This public property is not personal property of any political leader or bureaucrat but is beingtreated like one," he said.
He said the existing infrastructure must be handed back to the government, which can easily run the institute as the state's fourth medical college, and this would not require huge expense.
"If the government can spend crores of public money on performances of actors, why can't it spend a little more money to provide better health care services to its people," he stated.