Draft health policy moots 58 new govt medical colleges

Centre reviewing states' response to plan of establishing more AIIMS

Draft health policy moots 58 new govt medical colleges

The Centre’s new draft national health policy, 2015, has proposed to set up 58 more government medical colleges and 14 tertiary care hospitals on the lines of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in the next five years.

The new colleges would help increase the bed-population ratio to 1:1,000 by increasing the number of medical colleges up to 600, including the private ones.

At present, there are 398 medical colleges offering MBBS degrees with 52,105 seats. The numbers, however, are inadequate given India’s burgeoning health needs.

To expand the number of specialists and doctors, the government shall invest in states with larger human resource deficits by strengthening 58 existing medical colleges and by further converting 58 district hospitals to new medical colleges.

Medical colleges, both in the government and private sector, are concentrated in Tamil Nadu (45 colleges), Karnataka (47), Kerala (30), Andhra Pradesh (46) and Maharashtra (45). On the other hand, populous states like Uttar Pradesh (32); Madhya Pradesh (29) and Bihar (12) have fewer medical colleges that are unevenly distributed.

In Uttar Pradesh, most of the colleges are located in west or central region of the state, leaving barely anything for eastern Uttar Pradesh.

The rules regarding setting up of the medical colleges would have to be modified to correct the current distortions, the policy stated.

“We will talk to stakeholders like Medical Council of India to find out how doctor's shortage can be met. More AIIMS may also be announced in the President's address before the Budget session,” Union Health Minister J P Nadda said.

The policy suggests expansion of number of AIIMS like tertiary care institutes from 9 to 15. Besides AIIMS, Delhi, six more AIIMS are under construction in Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand.  In addition, the United Progressive Alliance government approved setting up of two more AIIMS in Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

The Narendra Modi government asked for proposals from states for establishing more AIIMS. It received a number of proposals, which are being reviewed at the moment.

The policy seeks to build up a continuous flow of faculty for the over 600 medical colleges that the government hopes would be in place in the next five years.

On expensive medical education in private colleges, the policy says little besides merely recognising the fact that these colleges charge very high for clinical care and professional education.

“The fees and the orientation make it less likely for graduates to take up public sector services or even serve in towns and cities outside the main metropolis,” it says.

The draft policy can be accessed at http:// www. mohfw.nic.in and is open for comments till February 28.
DH News Service

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