Sunday, December 13, 2009

[ZESTCaste] LS members resist AIIMS 'privatisation''privatisation'.html

LS members resist AIIMS 'privatisation'
Mail Today Bureau
New Delhi, December 12, 2009

Lok Sabha members on Friday protested against the government's push
for financial autonomy in the All India Institute of Medical Sciences

Raising the matter during question hour, Mangani Lal Mandal of the
JD-U alleged that the government was "moving towards privatisation" by
accepting the recommendations of the M. S. Valiathan Committee, set up
to look into the institute's functioning.

Mandal alleged that at a meeting held on November 26, the government
had agreed to involve industry associations in its move to privatise
the AIIMS. The MP was particularly agitated about what he perceived
was a proposal of the committee that recruitment to Class C and D
level posts should be done through reputed professional agencies in
public/private sectors.

He demanded to know if the government would fill backlog of vacancies
in the SC/ST/OBC categories in AIIMS in these categories.

Health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad's assurance that the government was
duty-bound to implement reservations, and that the AIIMS governing
panel and the government had not approved the Valiathan Committee
proposal, did not pacify members from the BJP, JD-U and Left parties.
JD-U MPs, in fact, threatened to stage a walkout.

The Valiathan report has invited criticism, particularly from
academics, researchers and doctors, on the ground that it aims to push
the institute out of the common man's reach.

They believe that since the AIIMS was set up under an Act of
Parliament, any change in its basic character should be made only by
Parliament. The report's proposals have been rejected by the AIIMS
institute body.

Some "objectionable" proposals are that members of business bodies
like FICCI and ASSOCHAM be empanelled on the research council and
academic council and the decisionmaking process of the institute.

It is also being said that the committee has recommended a
revenue-generation model that would lead to increased privatisation of
the AIIMS.

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