3,700 additional MBBS seats
Centre approves increase in government medical colleges
Faced with the acute shortage of doctors, the Centre has approved an additional 3,700 MBBS seats in government medical colleges, besides setting in motion a process to increase the number of MBBS graduates within the next five years.
The ceiling for MBBS admissions has been raised in government medical colleges from 150 to 250 depending on the bed strength. “Currently, there are 37 government medical colleges with 1,000 beds where the MBBS intake will be up by 100. That means 3,700 additional MBBS seats at one go,” Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad told Deccan Herald.
However, hospitals have to upgrade their student facilities before they would be allowed to admit 250 students. The same scheme would be extended to private medical colleges as well from the 2011-12 academic year, Azad said.
The Medical Council of India (MCI) recognises 303 colleges for studying, more than half of which is being run either by a private trust or a society. The rest are government colleges. So even if 100 private medical colleges get the permission to increase the number of their MBBS seats by another 100, this means an addition of 10,000 MBBS seats.
However, there is no time bar as the colleges first have to ready their infrastructure before approaching the MCI.
In addition to the increase in MBBS seats in the existing medical colleges, the Centre is encouraging large private hospital groups like Apollo or Fortis or Max to open their own colleges for which land and building requirements were modified.
Increase at PG level
The increase in MBBS seats comes within months of the Union Health Ministry receiving the Cabinet approval for finding 4,000 additional seats at the postgraduate level (MD) by changing the teacher student ratio to 1:2 from the previous position of 1:1.
Moreover, government medical colleges are being provided with Rs 1,350 crore to upgrade their facilities over the next two years so that 6,000 additional MD students can be admitted. “Once implemented, this would lead to the creation of 10,000 post-graduate students,” he said.
Azad said equal emphasis was being paid to romp up the number of nursing and paramedical colleges. While the plan for nursing sector has received the Cabinet approval, new schemes to set up institutions for paramedical training is yet to be sanctioned. For the paramedics, the plan is to create one central and eight regional centers of excellence for generating 10,000 seats annually.