State losing medical education hub tag

State losing medical education hub tag

Karnataka, as per the data from the Medical Council of India, still has the largest number of MBBS seats in the country. However, since 2008, not a single medical college has come up in the State. The corresponding numbers in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh are 14 and five respectively. Not only are these two states fast chipping away at Karnataka’s lead, they will be far ahead if the current pace continues.

Surprisingly, the once robust private sector has fallen behind in starting medical colleges in the State. The medical colleges last established were the six set up by the State government in 2006 and 2007. The last private medical college to be set up in the State was Rajarajeswari Medical College and Hospital in Bangalore in 2007. Since 2000, only seven private medical colleges have been set up in the State.

Contrast this with Andhra Pradesh that has allowed 22 private medical colleges to open since 2000. Tamil Nadu, which has also seen an explosion of government medical colleges, has allowed 15 private medical colleges to begin classes.

A director of a private medical college from the State blamed the government for the situation. “Private medical colleges have been harassed over the past few years, whether it is on fees or seat-sharing. For this reason, both Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are stealing a march over Karnataka,” said the director.

The setting up of six government medical colleges has made up, somewhat, for the lack of traction in the private sector. There has been an increase in the number of seats allotted in two of the older government medical colleges.

As per the 2001 census, there was one doctor for every 3,610 people in the State. While this figure is expected to have improved in the intervening 10 years, this is a far cry from what the Medical Council of India estimates is needed. As per the latest vision document of the MCI, there should be one doctor for every 1,000 people - a threefold rise in the number of doctors. Given this requirement, there being no increase in the number of medical colleges in the State is puzzling.

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