The All India Institute of Medical Sciences here was inaugurated on Monday by Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad. With this it becomes the second AIIMS, after the one in Delhi that was set up way back in 1956, to become functional.

The 200-bed hospital is the first among the six AIIMS established under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana to start functioning.

The Medical College and outpatient facilities were started last year and a batch of 50 MBBS students was enrolled. The next batch of 100 students will be admitted this academic session along with 60 B.Sc Nursing students.

Mr Azad said the institute will provide world-class facilities to the people of the region, particularly pilgrims who come to visit Haridwar, Rishikesh, Hemkunt Sahib and Kaliyar Sharief every year.

Situated close to the banks of the Ganga, the AIIMS will have 40 departments of super specialty and specialty care. The Ministry of Finance initially approved creation of 1,145 posts of faculty and other positions. Subsequently, it approved 2,936 additional posts. Mr. Azad said attempts would be made to accommodate 90 per cent of the staff from the State to ensure that benefits go to the locals also.

The PMSSY scheme was approved in March 2006. The first phase has two components — setting up of six institutions and upgrading of 13 existing government medical college institutions.