New Delhi: Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge Sunday alleged the Centre has rendered the country’s health system “sick” with even AIIMS facilities grappling with staff shortage, drawing a sharp rebuttal from Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya.
Taking to X, formerly known as Twitter, Kharge targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, citing a media report which claimed that 19 All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) are facing a shortage of doctors and other staff.
“Loot and jumlas have made the country unhealthy. Only lies are embedded in every word of Modi ji! (The government) claimed that it has set up many AIIMS. The truth is that our AIIMS are facing a severe shortage of doctors and other staff,” the Congress chief said in Hindi.
“Mr. Modi, from apathy during the coronavirus pandemic to scams in Ayushman Bharat… Your government has made the country’s health system sick,” Kharge alleged.
“The people have been awakened, your deceit has been recognised and the time has come for your government’s farewell,” he added.
In a series of posts on X, Mandaviya countered Kharge, saying while only one AIIMS was opened during the Congress’ rule, 15 are being opened under the Modi government.
“Respected Kharge ji, our intentions are pure and clear..!! I hope you will understand the reality. One AIIMS was opened during the Congress’ 50-year rule. Six AIIMS (were opened) during the tenure of (former prime minister Atal Bihari) Vajpayee ji and 15 new AIIMS are being opened during the tenure of Modi ji,” the minister said in Hindi.
“It is expected that you will also try to understand that according to the requirement of AIIMS, phase-wise recruitment has been done from time to time when new departments opened,” he said.
Prime Minister Modi has distributed more than 5 lakh appointment letters to the youth of the country at ‘Rozgar Mela’, he said, adding these were given on the basis of merit and not nepotism.
Mandaviya asked Kharge to tell the citizens of the country about any achievement of the UPA in the health sector.
“The country understands very well the failure of the UPA era and the way efforts are being made to mislead it at present.
“The Modi government has opened new AIIMS and we will also recruit people, you just keep watching and giving us suggestions,” the minister said.