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Norms for opening new medical colleges liberalised: Azad

Last Updated: Friday, December 4, 2009 - 16:25

New Delhi: The government on Friday said it was
working closely with the Medical Council of India and has
liberalised norms for opening new colleges to produce more
doctors to meet shortage of medical staff in primary health
centres.

"For opening of new medical colleges, land requirements
have been rationalised. In respect of North-East and hill
states, the bed strength in the teaching hospitals has been
liberalised among other steps," Health Minister Ghulam Nabi
Azad said in Lok Sabha during the Question Hour.

Eight new AIIMS-like hospitals, which would also have
medical colleges, would be opened in next two years, he said.

In next three-four years, due to these initiatives,
thousands of additional doctors, specialists and nurses would
be produced, he said adding special incentives have been
announced for working doctors to work in rural areas.

Admitting that there was shortage of medical staff in
primary health centres in various parts of the country, which
was either due to lack of proper facilities or brain drain,
Azad said, "We cannot legally stop doctors from going abroad
but certainly we are making efforts to produce more doctors to
meet shortfall in the country."

To encourage MBBS doctors to serve in rural areas, Azad
said 50 percent of the seats in post-graduate medical diploma
courses under all-India quota have been earmarked for medical
officers working in rural areas.

Similarly, 10-30 percent weightage of marks have been
provided for MBBS doctors in rural areas for selection to
post-graduate medical degree courses.

Azad said the Centre was spending up to Rs 16,000 crore
annually to create infrastructure and modern facilities in
states under the National Rural Health Mission.

On a suggestion to stop doctors from going abroad and
settling there, the minister said, "We should be happy that
our doctors are teaching and working abroad and it should not
be stopped.

"Rather, we should produce more doctors and for that we
are making efforts," he added.

PTI

First Published: Friday, December 4, 2009 - 16:25

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