There has been a 69% increase in the number of medical-colleges in the country from 387 before 2014 to 654 now, the government informed Parliament. Besides this, there has been a 94% increase in the number of MBBS seats, from 51,348 to 99,763, and a 107% increase in the number of postgraduate (PG) seats, from 31,185 before 2014 to 64,559 now, the minister said. Minister of State for Health Bharti Praveen Pawar said this in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha.
He said that to increase the number of doctors in the country, the government has increased the number of medical colleges and the number of MBBS seats.
Steps taken by the government to increase the number of medical seats in the country include a centrally sponsored scheme for setting up new medical colleges by upgrading district and referral hospitals, Pawar said, adding that out of 157 new medical colleges, 94 were approved is already functional.
The minister said that a centrally sponsored scheme has been implemented to strengthen or upgrade existing medical colleges run by the state or central government to increase the number of MBBS and PG seats.
He said that a total of 75 projects have been approved under “Upgradation of Government Medical-Colleges by Construction of Super Specialty Blocks” of the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY), out of which 60 have been completed.
Pawar said 22 such facilities have been approved under the Central Sector Scheme for setting up new All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and undergraduate courses have started in 19 of them.
Relaxation in norms has also been allowed for establishment of medical colleges in terms of requirement of faculty, staff, bed strength and other infrastructure, he added.
Responding to a question whether the government is planning to implement a proposal of the National Medical Council against “mixopathy” wherein a doctor can prescribe medicines only in the system of medicine in which he is trained, the minister said, “It is the prerogative of the state governments to decide which system of medicine will be deployed at different levels of public health facilities,” the doctors said.
(With PTI inputs)