Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) is a government scheme under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Government schemes are important for the UPSC exam as many questions are asked about them in the exam, especially in the UPSC Prelims. In this article, you can read all about the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana for UPSC and other government exams.
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Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana
The Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) was initiated in 2003 by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The chief objective of the scheme is to correct the regional imbalances in the availability of affordable and reliable tertiary healthcare services in the country. It also aims at boosting the facilities for quality medical education in India.
There are two components under PMSSY. They are:
- Setting up institutions like the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS).
- Under the scheme, totally 22 AIIMS have been announced (six are functional).
- Each of the new AIIMS would have state-of-the-art modular operation theatres and diagnostics facilities; 750 beds at least; 15 – 20 speciality departments; 100 MBBS seats; 60 B.Sc. Nursing seats.
- The new institutes would have a focus on PG education and research.
- Upgrade of government medical colleges or institutes
- Addition of 8 – 10 speciality departments; 150 – 250 beds and around 15 new seats for PG.
The government passed the AIIMS Act in order to create AIIMS institutions. According to the Act, all AIIMS institutions are institutions of national importance and they would function as autonomous bodies under the Health Ministry.
As per the Act, the objectives of establishing the new AIIMS are mentioned below.
- Developing teaching patterns in UG and PG medical education so as to demonstrate high standards of medical education in all institutes in India.
- Bringing together in one place educational facilities of the highest order for training personnel in all important branches of health activity.
- Attaining self-sufficiency in PG medical education.
For other government schemes related to the health sector, check the table below:
Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana Concerns
In 2018, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) submitted a report on the performance of the PMSSY. Some of the concerns flagged in the report are discussed below.
- Even though the scheme was announced in 2003, no operational guidelines had been formulated for it since its inception. Hence, several decisions were taken in an ad hoc manner. Additionally, there was an increase in costs and delays in the implementation.
- The report recommended that guidelines be formulated for the same. Also, that evaluation studies should be taken up for status check and in the identification of weaknesses in planning & implementation.
- The report said that a significant portion of the funds allocated to the scheme was not utilised due to: (1) Delays in getting approvals; (2) Slow pace of equipment procurement; (3) Posts not being filled; (4) Pending utilisation certificates. The CAG noted that there was no mechanism in place for monitoring actual expenditure which led to accumulation of unspent funds.
- The report recommended that the Ministry should ensure that contracts were adhered to in the completion of works. Additionally, accountability should be fixed in case of additional expenditure without adequate justification for the same.
- There were delays in execution of work by as much as five years due to poor contract management and inadequate monitoring. There were also other deficiencies in the work such as (1) Improper estimation of scope and quantities; (2) Delay in procurement and installation of equipment; (3) Contractors being paid extra.
- The CAG recommended that better monitoring of projects should be undertaken to speed up the completion of the pending work.
- The report said that there was an acute shortage of faculty and non-faculty posts in the AIIMS which led to restricted functioning of several departments. It also led to the dependence on outsourced employees who were hired on a contractual basis. Further, delays in filling up sanctioned posts were attributed to delay in finalising recruitment rules, court cases and non-availability of eligible candidates.
- The report suggested the Ministry to take up several steps to fill up the vacant posts in the institutes.
- The report said that the committees constituted at national, state, and institute levels to review the project implementation were non-functional.
- The CAG recommended effective monitoring by the committees for the synchronisation of activities related to the completion of works and procurement of equipment.
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