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New Delhi : Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on March 13, 2021, inaugurated multiple facilities at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. He laid the Foundation of Administrative Block and dedicated the Auditorium of AIIMS, Bhopal, to the community. He also inaugurated the Mycology Advanced Resource Centre (MARC) established in with collaboration with ICMR. The Skill Lab and the Cancer Treatment Centre (CTC) of the institute was dedicated to the country.

Recollecting the long-arduous journey in providing regionally balanced specialised medical care throughout the country, Dr. Vardhan said, “Dream of Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji being fulfilled with network of AIIMS across the country for superior healthcare for all citizens.  He envisioned to mitigate the regional imbalance in the healthcare management and teaching standards after long realisation that AIIMS, Delhi, was too much overburdened to cater to the entire nation. Therefore, in 2003, he announced PMSSY and under this scheme 6 regional AIIMS in various parts of the country. This was with great efforts of late Sushma Swaraj ji and justified demand of the region that this institute was established at Bhopal. It is geographically and strategically best location for such an Institute, which was formally announced on July 16, 2012 through an ordinance.”

He stated that Government of India under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is deeply committed to expanding Institutes of Medical Excellence for high quality medical care for all. Dr Vardhan expressed his unqualified elation at the multi-faceted achievements of the institute including areas of academics, patient care services, capacity building, and research activities.

Speaking of the recently inaugurated ICMR-MARC Centre, Dr Vardhan said, “I am also happy to know that Institute has got the New Generation Sequencing facility. This system will help faster sequencing of the pathogens including the SARS-CoV-2, other viruses, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. I am also incredibly happy to know that scientists and faculty of this Institute, in collaboration with AIIMS, Delhi, and other Institutes have developed several TB diagnostic tests, some of these are in advanced technology transfer stage. Other facilities like Animal imaging system, Flow cytometer with sorting, LCMS, Automated Nucleic Acid extraction system will pave way for research of international standards including the in-vivo drug targeting, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. I am pleased to know that out of the box thinking of the Director of AIIMS, Bhopal, led to establishment of the Centre for Translational Medicine, the unique facility in any medical Institute of the country. This centre with all this state-of-the-art equipment can become a milestone in the integration of clinical and basic science. ”

Dr Vardhan said the Translation medicine has great future. This Centre at AIIMS, Bhopal, is formed with the aim to accelerate the discovery of new diagnostic tools and treatments by using a multi-disciplinary, highly collaborative, “bench-to-bedside” approach. At this centre ,work will be done mainly on new diagnostic kit development, drug discovery, Whole genome sequencing, transcriptomics, artificial intelligence, and clinical trials, he added, according to a PIB release.

He congratulated the institute in its endeavour of productive collaboration with other Institutes like the Research Institute of McGill University Health Center, Canada; CSIR-Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (CSIR-IITR); National Institute of Health & Family Welfare (NIHFW); National Health Mission (NHM); AIIMS Rishikesh; Department of Public Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of MP.

Dr Vardhan also informed that AIIMS, Bhopal, in its capacity as Mentor Institute for combating COVID-19 pandemic, had supervised a total of 38 laboratories, institutes and medical colleges of Madhya Pradesh for COVID-19 RT-PCR testing after providing their microbiologists and lab technicians training at the Regional Virology Laboratory of AIIMS, Bhopal. The in-house laboratory has done more 1.96 lakh COVID-19 tests till March 12, 2021.