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The Union Cabinet on Thursday cleared a proposal to create 10,000 new MBBS seats in government medical colleges.

At present, there are around 22,500 MBBS seats in government colleges.

There are 381 medical colleges — both government and private — in the country with around 50,000 MBBS seats registered with the Medical Council of India (MCI). The proposal is aimed at increasing the number of doctors to reduce the doctor-patient ratio from the current 1:2000 to 1:1000. This is also likely to increase availability of doctors in the hinterland where people have to travel long distances to get medical treatment.

The proposal mooted by the health ministry relates to the centrally sponsored scheme for upgrade of state and central medical colleges. A government statement said the spending for this will be Rs 10,000 crore.

Cabinet Clears Addition of 10,000 More MBBS Seats

While the central assistance will be Rs 7,500 crore, states’ share will be Rs 2,500 crore. The total investment for one MBBS seat is approximately Rs 1.20 crore.

Under the scheme, the funding pattern will be 90:10 by central and state government respectively for northeastern states and special category states.

This is perhaps the largest ever addition of MBBS seats in the country in one go. The government had last week cleared a proposal by the health ministry to set up 58 new medical colleges in states with central assistance and upgrade of district hospitals, thus helping create 5,800 more MBBS seats.

Since 2000, the government has created 9,300 medical seats, almost as many as it did in half a century from 1950 till 2000. But private medical colleges added at least 17,700 MBBS seats in the same period.

The private sector taking over medical education in a big way has been a concern for the government and students alike because of the spiralling costs, question marks over quality and a sharp geographical skew.

Source
Times of India
10 Jan 2013,
New Delhi, India

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