New Delhi:
Twenty-two AIIMS are in different phases of development across the country, the government informed Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

Replying to supplementaries during the Question Hour, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said in 2003, there was only one All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in the country in Delhi.

But under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, a policy to add five new AIIMS was framed and in 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi evolved a policy to develop AIIMS in every state, he said in a written reply.

''So, from six AIIMS, today there are 22 AIIMS in different phases of development,'' Vardhan told the House.

On a question on developing an AIIMS in Karnataka, the minister said the chief minister has written for setting up the institute in the state.

Detailed deliberations are going on, and whenever a final decision is taken the Finance Ministry will announce it, he said.

''We are seriously considering the request of Karnataka to set up an AIIMS there,'' Vardhan said.

To another question on providing training to Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) workers, the minister said that tele-medicine guidelines have been issued and by now, even in the remotest part of the country, a person can have access to a tele-consultation from doctors in a medical college.

''We already have a record of having delivered more than a million tele-consultations. So, this is something, I think, is going to become the new normal in the times to come and we are already on it,'' he said.

Vardhan said that the National Health Mission (NHM) envisages achievement of universal access to equitable, affordable and quality healthcare services that are accountable and responsive to people's needs.

The NHM encompasses two sub-missions, the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and the National Urban Health Mission (NUHM). The main programmatic components include strengthening of the health system in rural and urban areas, and Reproductive-Maternal-Neonatal-Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCH+A), and preventing communicable and non-communicable diseases, he said.

''Under the NHM, technical and financial support is provided to states and union territories for strengthening of their healthcare systems based on the proposals submitted by them in their Program Implementation Plans (PIPs), subject to availability of resources,'' he said.