Update on Medical Colleges in Aspirational Districts
Increase in Medical Colleges and MBBS Seats
In a significant development, the Indian government has taken decisive steps to strengthen medical education in underserved areas. The number of medical colleges has seen a staggering 82% increase, rising from 387 before 2014 to 704 as of now. Furthermore, the availability of MBBS seats has also witnessed an impressive growth of 110%, climbing from 51,348 before 2014 to 1,07,948 at present. These initiatives aim to address the dearth of medical facilities in remote regions, ensuring accessible healthcare and better opportunities for aspiring medical professionals.
Centrally Sponsored Scheme for New Medical Colleges
The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has been instrumental in administering a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) for the ‘Establishment of new medical colleges attached with existing district/referral hospitals.’ This scheme prioritizes underserved areas and aspirational districts where no government or private medical colleges existed previously. With a fund sharing ratio of 90:10 for north-eastern and special category states, and 60:40 for others, this initiative has led to the approval of 157 medical colleges in three phases. Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh have benefitted with approvals for 02, 03, and 27 medical colleges respectively under this scheme.
Financial Support for Upgradation of Medical Colleges
To further enhance medical education, financial support has been extended to various states. Himachal Pradesh has received Rs. 144 crore for increasing 120 MBBS seats in 6 medical colleges and Rs. 14.50 crore for 17 post-graduate seats in 1 medical college. Maharashtra was allocated Rs. 839.86 Crore to add 700 MBBS seats in 14 medical colleges and Rs. 345.79 Crore for 692 post-graduate seats in 11 medical colleges. Uttar Pradesh was granted Rs. 518.39 Crore for increasing 432 MBBS seats in 7 medical colleges and Rs. 375.92 crore for 556 post-graduate seats in 12 medical colleges.
New AIIMS Establishments
In addition to the aforementioned developments, new All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) have been established in Bilaspur, Nagpur, Rae Bareli, and Gorakhpur. These AIIMS institutions will play a pivotal role in providing advanced medical care, conducting research, and producing skilled medical professionals to cater to the healthcare needs of the region.
The government’s commitment to bolstering medical education in aspirational districts and underserved areas is commendable. The increase in medical colleges and seats, along with financial support for upgradation, will pave the way for a more robust healthcare system and a brighter future for medical aspirants.