A proposal to form societies to run six AIIMS-like institutions under a centrally-funded project on Monday received the approval of the Government.

These societies will run the institutions being set up under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) till these bodies are brought under an act of Parliament.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here.

Creating legal entities in the form of a society for these institutions will facilitate greater autonomy and faster execution of the projects and will expedite release of funds from the Government.

The formation of societies will also give these institutions a governance structure, which they lack at present.

Each of these institutions will be registered as a society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, official sources said.

Every society will have a two-tier organisation and management structure. The Governing Council under the chairmanship of the Union Health Minister would have appropriate representation from concerned ministries and departments of the Centre and other related organisations.

This will be the apex body deciding all policy matters.

There will also be a Board of Governors with Secretary (Health and Family Welfare) as chairperson with appropriate representation of state governments. Persons with special knowledge in the field of science and medicine will be nominated by the Governing Council.

The Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana was approved by the Union Cabinet in March, 2006 with the objective of correcting regional imbalances in the availability of affordable/reliable tertiary healthcare services and also to augment facilities for quality medical education in the country.

The AIIMS-like institutions are being set up in Bihar (Patna), Chhattisgarh (Raipur), Madhya Pradesh (Bhopal), Orissa (Bhubaneshwar), Rajasthan (Jodhpur) and Uttarakhand (Rishikesh) at an estimated cost of Rs. 840 crore per institution.