New Delhi, August 29—In a boost to health sector, the government has announced to open 75 new medical colleges in the country. The decision came from the Cabinet on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, the announcement of which, came from Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar. There are currently 70,978 MBBS seats in 529 colleges in India.
According to media reports, the new medical colleges, to be opened in unreserved districts, will be built at the expenditure of Rs 24,375 crore and will add 15,700 more MBBS seats, said the minister, adding that it is the biggest expansion in medical education.
“The establishment of new medical colleges attached with existing district and referral hospitals, would lead to an increase in the availability of qualified health professionals, improve tertiary care in the government sector, utilize existing infrastructure of districts hospitals and promote affordable medical education in the country,” read a statement by the government.
“New medical colleges will be set up in underserved areas. Preference will be given to aspirational districts and district hospitals having 300 beds,” the statement added.
The government also said that 39 medical colleges have been built and started functioning under Phase-I following the announcement of the government’s approval earlier of 58 new medical colleges with a focus on healthcare infrastructure, attached with existing district/referral hospitals. The rest 29 will be made functional by 2022. There are 18 new medical colleges which have been approved under Phase-II.
Amendments have been made to the recently enacted National Medical Commission Bill, 2019, the original version of the bill was approved by the cabinet on 17 July 2019, and was passed in both Houses of Parliament on 29 July and 1 August, respectively, according to the cabinet.
While emphasizing on its “path breaking initiatives”, the government said that its earlier announcements were a apart of ‘Ayushman Bharat’ which was aimed to address India’s healthcare holistically, impacting primary, secondary and improving tertiary care in the government sector and to utilise infrastructure of district hospitals and promote affordable medical education in the country with this push.
As per the norms under the Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS), the government, according to the National Health Policy 2017, envisages establishment of primary and secondary care facilities according to the IPHS regulations in high-priority districts (population as well as time to reach norms) and increase community health volunteers to population ratio in high-priority districts by 2025. It has to also ensure availability of paramedics by the end of next year.