New Delhi: Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved a plan to set up 20 All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) across the country and upgrade 73 medical colleges.

The decisions are part of the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY), which has been extended by two years till 2020 with a financial outlay of 14,832 crore rupees.

Briefing the media about cabinet decisions, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the decision to extend the PMSSY is aimed at meeting the shortfall in healthcare professionals and facilities across the country. He said, setting up of new AIIMS will not only transform health education and training but also address the shortfall of healthcare professionals in the region. Mr. Prasad said, six of the 20 AIIMS have already been established.

An official release said, the construction of new AIIMS will be fully funded by the Central government and it will also bear the operations and maintenance expenses of these facilities. The release said, setting up of new AIIMS in various states will lead to employment generation for nearly 3,000 people in various faculty and non-faculty posts in each of the AIIMS. It said, the upgradation programme broadly envisages improving health infrastructure through construction of super specialty blocks, trauma centers, and others.