New Delhi, Sep 12 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh's Rae Bareli and West Bengal's Raiganj will soon get new All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said Thursday.
Speaking at the AIIMS annual convocation ceremony here, he said six new AIIMS have been established in Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Jodhpur, Patna, Raipur and Rishikesh with a bed strength of 960.
Medical colleges at the six new AIIMS have started functioning with admission to the MBBS second batch and the first batch of BSc nursing students this year, he noted.
"Work on the seventh AIIMS in Rae Bareli will soon start and the process of identifying land for the eighth AIIMS in Raiganj is currently underway," Azad said.
As part of the government's efforts to strengthen the healthcare sector, 19 government medical colleges have been upgraded as super specialty hospitals, he said.
He added funds had been approved for establishing 20 new standalone state cancer institutes.
World Health Organisation (WHO) director general Margaret Chan commended AIIMS' world-class infrastructure and the new strides it is making.
She advised the students to serve the poor and the sick children and mothers.
She also appreciated the efforts made by the health ministry through programmes such as the National Rural Health Mission which have provided accessible healthcare in the country.
The health minister gave away degrees to 509 AIIMS students.
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