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Medical Colleges Facing Relaxation In Norms

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Norms To Set Medical Colleges
The Union Health Ministry has decided to soon relax the norms to open medical colleges. Health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Friday has asked the Medical Council of India (MCI) to prepare a series of medical reforms within a month. The most important reform among these is concerned with the land required to start medical colleges.

Currently, medical college can be started on a 10-acre plot in nine cities- namely Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Pune and Kanpur. The ministry is now planning to wxpand this list by including state capitals of Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, Jharkhand, Bihar, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, which are not only short of Human Resources but also known for poor Health indicators.

These states will be allowed to have split campuses-hospital and medical college within 10 km of each other. This facility is available only in north-eastern and hilly states, which require 20 acre of plot to start a medical college. India has a destiny of one medical college per 38.41 lakhs people. There are round 315 medical colleges across 188 of 642 districts. The ratio is worse in certain states like 95 lakhs in Uttar Pradesh, 115 lakhs in Bihar, 73 lakhs in Madhya Pradesh, 68 lakhs in Rajasthan.

A ministry official said that sometimes a hospital does not adequate land to start a medical college. Thus, they have asked the MCI to ease norms to permit a split campus provided facilities like telecommunication and transportation are in place.

India has the largest number of medical colleges in the world, producing over 30,000 doctors and 18000 specialists every year. However, its average annual output is 100 graduates per medical college in comparison to 125 in central Europe, 110 in North America, 220 in Eastern Europe and 149 in Western Europe.

China out stands amongst all with 188 medical colleges and products 1,75,000 doctors annually with an average of 930 graduate per college. The high-power expert group (HLEG) of the Planning Commission engaged in universal health coverage, has suggested a phased addition of 187 colleges. The HLEG said that by 2015 under phase A, 15 states namely, Bihar, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Gujarath, Jharkhand, Jammu & Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Orissa, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, West Bengal, UP and Punjab will have 59 new Medical Colleges.

By 2017, 13 of these states will have 70 more medical colleges and by 2022, 58 Medical colleges will be established in two additional phases ie.. 2017-20 and 2020-222. Therefore, by 2022 India will have one Medical college per 25 lakhs individuals in all states barring Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Bihar.

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