India experiences 69% growth in medical colleges: Health minister shares exciting news in parliament

To increase the number of doctors in the country, the government has hiked the number of medical colleges and consequently, that of MBBS seats said the minister of state for health
Pic: @drbharatipawar7
Pic: @drbharatipawar7

Health minister Bharati Pravin Pawar reported in Parliament on Tuesday, February 7, a 69% increase in the number of medical colleges in the country, rising from 387 before 2014 to 654. She also noted a 94% increase in MBBS seats (from 51,348 to 99,763) and a 107% increase in PG seats (from 31,185 to 64,559) in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha, according to a PTI report.

The government aims to boost the number of doctors in the country by increasing the number of medical colleges and MBBS seats, according to the minister. This is being achieved through a centrally-sponsored scheme to establish new medical colleges by upgrading district and referral hospitals, with 94 of the 157 approved colleges already operational. The scheme also strengthens existing state and central government-run medical colleges to increase MBBS and PG seats, the minister added.

Pawar stated that under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana's "upgradation of government medical colleges by the construction of super speciality blocks," 60 out of 75 approved projects have been completed. Furthermore, she mentioned that the central sector scheme for establishing new All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has approved 22 facilities, with undergraduate courses already underway in 19 of them.

She reported that norms for setting up medical colleges have been relaxed, including those for faculty, staff, bed strength, and infrastructure. To address the shortage of faculty, the DNB qualification has been recognized for an appointment, and the age limit for appointment or extension in positions such as teachers, deans, principals, and directors in medical colleges has been increased to 70 years, according to the minister.

Regarding the National Medical Council's proposal for "mixopathy," where medical practitioners can only prescribe medicines in the system of medicine they are trained in, the minister stated that the decision of which system of medicine will be deployed at various levels of public health facilities is a prerogative of the state governments, according to a PTI report.

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