The demand for AIIMS in Jammu has once again polarizes the state with both Kashmir and Jammu pulling in opposite direction. The people of Jammu allege that this institution which was meant for this region has been hijacked by the Kashmiri leadership in the garb of the Agenda for Alliance signed between the BJP, and the PDP. The people were expecting that after coming to power in a historic manner BJP will ensure that discrimination with Jammu ends but this has not happened. There are many reasons that the AIIMS hospital should be set up in Jammu and most importantly these are:
# The AIIMS hospital was announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for Jammu and Kashmir, and finance ministry officials had made it clear it was meant for Jammu. Dr Jitendra Singh, MoS in PMO in fact had thanked the government for setting up the hospital, and now if at the last moment if it is shifted then it is nothing but a move towards disaster.
# Jammu has only one big hospital in the name of Government medical college and hospital which can’t cater to the huge demand for medical care. In comparison Kashmir has multiple large hospitals which have both facilities as well as specialist doctors to meet the needs of the patients.
# The population of Jammu is more, and as such patients visiting GMC are far higher. A large number of patients come from hilly and backward areas who need specialized health care come to Jammu, and AIIMS here would serve them better.
# There is lack of specialized health care in Jammu as compared to Kashmir, and this is the reason that large number of patients are referred to Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Amritsar and Delhi. A large super-specialty hospital will go a long way in ameliorating the problems being faced by people of this region.
# Setting up AIIMS will ensure that talented doctors from across the country come to Jammu and stay here. This will ensure that an eco-system of good medical and health care develops in the region. The specialists at the hospital can also help the staff in smaller hospitals learn better skills and impart knowledge.
# Jammu has a huge catchment area as compared to Kashmir Valley as people from Poonch, Rajouri, Bhaderwah, Doda, and Basohli are dependent on GMC for medical care. If AIIMS comes up here it would be a boon for people.
# Setting up AIIMS in Jammu will also satisfy the people of this region that the reign of permanent discrimination which has run permanently since partition comes to an end. The people will reiterate their faith in voting the BJP to power in the state.
# This move will also send a clear message that both Kashmir and Jammu are on the same perch, and there would be no appeasement of any region or section of population.