Norms for opening new medical colleges liberalised: Azad
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Last Updated: Friday, December 04, 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.


First Published: Friday, December 04, 2009, 16:25

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