NEW DELHI: Even as the deadlock over fee hike in JNU continues, the government has quietly begun the process of reviewing fee structures in all AIIMS institutions, including AIIMS Delhi.
These institutions offer the least expensive medical education in the country with just about Rs 6,000 charged per student, including tuition, hostel and all other charges for the whole duration of the MBBS programme.
In addition, the government is reviewing the user fee charged from patients — currently highly subsidised — at these institutes.
According to officials in the Human Resource Development ministry, the plan is to raise fees to up to Rs 50,000- 70,000 per year for MBBS.
The Central Institute Body (CIB) has asked institutes to furnish details of the cost incurred and revenue generated by November 25.
After evaluating the inputs, a decision will be taken on how to revise the fee structure and charges for consultations, tests and procedures from patients. CIB is the top decision-making body of the AIIMS.
“The CIB has decided to review tuition fee of students and also fix uniform user charges for patients in all AIIMS,” a letter issued by financial advisor of AIIMS, Delhi to institutes in other centres on Monday said.
“In pursuance of to the directions of Government of India (Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare), AIIMS, Delhi is required to review all fee and user charges in the Institutes,” the letter said.
It cited Rule 47 of the General Financial Rules, 2017 which says that while fixing the rates of user charges, ministries and departments must recover the current cost of providing services with reasonable return on capital investment.
At present, the government gives nearly Rs 3,500 crore to AIIMS-Delhi per year and Rs 300-500 crore each to 14 other functional AIIMS.
An internal analysis on cost of education by AIIMS-Delhi sometime back had found that the government spends over Rs 1 crore per student for the MBBS course there.
“We are asking these institutes to at least generate Rs 70-75 crore every year through charging for MBBS programmes and patients services,” a senior ministry official said. Currently, AIIMS-Delhi generates only Rs 2-3 each crore.
The move, however, has caused discomfort among students, who said investment in healthcare and education should not be based merely on “business calculations”.
“Under no circumstances shall we allow the government to destroy the education and healthcare system of India,” said Mukul Kumar, president of the Student’s Union of AIIMS-Delhi. “After striking down the autonomy of apex institutes, the government is moving to make education inaccessible to the common man,” he alleged.