DKS plans fee hike in govt medical colleges

DKS plans fee hike in govt medical colleges

D K Shivakumar

Medical Education Minister D K Shivakumar on Saturday said the government is contemplating a hike in the fees of government colleges and making rural service compulsory for students who opt for free seats.

He told reporters after chairing a review meeting at the Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) in Hubballi that the government spends approximately Rs 10 lakh on the education of each medical student. On the other hand, students pay a fee of just Rs 16,000 a year.

“Compared to the fee structure of private colleges, fees at government colleges are reasonably low,” he said. A student who wishes to study medicine at a government college will be able to pay a little more for his studies,” he said.

Of the Rs 16,000 fees a student pays, the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Bengaluru collects Rs 9,000 and the medical colleges are left with very little funds for programme enhancement. The fee hike is intended to make these colleges financially independent and not to fill the coffers of government, he said.

Based on the inputs received at the meeting, Shivakumar said he would consider making rural service compulsory for MBBS students who get free medical seats. “The government is not interested in levying monetary fines on students. That method has failed to yield the desired results and is also being contested in court. Hence, we will look into the Maharashtra model, where doctors will not get a permanent registration number without serving for a certain period in rural areas,” he said and added that this would address the 70%-75% vacancy of doctors in rural areas.

Video recording

He also instructed all the government medical colleges to video record their moveable and non-moveable assets. A detailed report of the equipment purchased and their present condition should be submitted to the government soon, based on which an audit will be held, he said. These instructions came after it was brought to his notice that equipment in hospitals was being stolen. Recently, equipment worth lakhs of rupees was found in a medical officer’s house in Hubballi. “There is a need to fix accountability on the hospital property and this move will ensure that equipment doesn’t go missing,” he said.