State firm on opening 7 new medical colleges

State firm on opening 7 new medical colleges

Each institution to cost Rs 100 crore

State firm on opening 7 new medical colleges

The Department of Medical Education (DME) is likely to apply for opening seven new medical colleges in the State in the academic year 2014-15, despite facing the challenge of improving facilities in five of the present institutions.

Approved by the previous government, the new colleges will cost Rs 100 crore each to start with, and will be opened in Chitradurga, Chamarajpet, Kodagu, Tumkur, Gadag, Haveri and Koppal. In the first year, these colleges will offer only MBBS and expand to postgraduate courses over the years.

The proposal on new colleges will once again be vetted by the Cabinet, regardless of the previous government’s approval, sources in the DME say. The department is hopeful of getting not only the Cabinet approval but also the necessary funds — Rs 700 crore.

Once the colleges become operational, the DME will look at attaching independent hospitals to them for internship and other practical purposes, so as to reduce the dependence on district or urban local body (ULB) hospitals.

In the course of time, each college will cost at least Rs 390 crore as allied staff would have to be recruited and equipment bought, a source said.

The obstacles are, however, not just financial. As the State has already 10 colleges, the Medical Council of India (MCI) might not easily approve seven more institutions. It may be recalled that the MCI has made not-so favourable yearly assessment of five of the present government colleges.

The Council pulled the colleges up for lack of proper infrastructure or non-availability of teachers. Besides, many private players have applied to the MCI for opening medical colleges in the State.

Notwithstanding these challenges, the DME is hopeful of getting ready by September to submit the application for new colleges.

If accepted by the MCI, the total number of MBBS seats in Karnataka will increase by 700 in the academic year 2014-15 and the share of government colleges will go up to 2,300.

MCI rejects govt’s request

The Medical Council of India (MCI) has already rejected the State government’s application for opening medical colleges at Chitradurga and Kodagu, citing procedural lapses in the requisition. The decision was taken at the MCI Board of Governor’s meeting on June 11
and 12.