India will soon have 75 new medical colleges in the next three years with the Centre spending Rs 24,375 crore on the institutes to ensure better healthcare facilities in areas lacking them. The decision to open new medical colleges was taken at the Union Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, announced Prakash Javadekar, the Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Minister of Information and Broadcasting.
The new medical colleges would be set up in areas having no medical college with at least 200 bedded district hospital. The government declared that preference will be given to aspirational districts and district hospital having 300 beds for the establishment of the new colleges. Continuing the focus on the creation of health care infrastructure, the Central Government had earlier approved to establish 58 new medical colleges attached with existing district/referral hospitals under Phase-I and 24 under Phase-II. Of this, 39 medical colleges under Phase-I, have already started functioning, while the remaining 19 would be made functional by 2020-21. Under Phase-II, 18 new medical colleges have been approved.
The establishment of new medical colleges (58+24+75) would lead to an addition of at least 15,700 MBBS seats in the country. Javadekar pointed out that 45,000 new MBBS seats have been added in the last five years and 82 medical colleges have been established in the country in a bid to improve the doctor to population ratio.
According to Javadekar, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs gave its approval for the establishment of 75 additional government medical colleges by 2021-22 attached with existing district/referral hospitals under Phase-Ill of the ongoing Centrally Sponsored scheme. "The establishment of new medical colleges attached with existing district/referral hospitals, would lead to an increase in the availability of qualified health professionals, improve tertiary care in the government sector, utilize the existing infrastructure of districts hospitals and promote affordable medical education in the country," said Javadekar.