Health Policy

Norms to start medical colleges may be relaxed

The Centre is considering relaxation of regulations for starting medical colleges, especially in areas under-served by healthcare systems, Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss has said. The category “under-served areas” will be applicable to the northeast region and backward States, where the National Rural Health Mission is operational, he said. This measure was to handle the huge shortage of doctors in these States, especially the interior rural areas. Dr. Ramadoss said that while the country’s requirement was 1 lakh doctors, only a third of this requirement was being met. Every year, 32,500 graduates passed out of medical schools and not all of them entered the public health sector. “It is a matter of huge concern for us,” he said. Due to scarcity of doctors in the northeast, the Union Health Ministry had already roped in the armed services medical corps to provide healthcare. Referring to relaxation of norms, Dr. Ramadoss said that while the focus would continue to be on quality


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