Setting up more AIIMS-like institutes has been my priority from the first day. We are starting off with a ballpark figure of 10, which could be revised based on the requirements, Vardhan told The Indian Express. This does not include the six institutes that were set up by the UPA government but are yet to become fully functional.
There may not be the need to set up one such institute per state a small state may not need a full-fledged institute but equitable availability of health facilities is the target. We will analyse the needs and then take a call. We are also in the process of setting up 50 tertiary care cancer institutes and 20 state-level institutes, he said.
The six AIIMS-like institutes that were set up under the UPA regime are in Patna, Raipur, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Jodhpur and Rishikesh. There is also a proposal to set up such an institute in Raigunj, West Bengal, but the state government wants it shifted to Kalyani.
The states where the new centres will come up have not been decided yet.
An estimated one million new cancer cases are reported in India every year, with 50,000 people succumbing to the disease annually.