Private firms to open medical colleges

Private sector healthcare companies have been allowed by the Medical Council of India to start medical colleges to address the shortage in the number of seats. The Medical Council of India (MCI), a state body that regulates the sector and registers doctors, has allowed hospital chains such as Fortis Healthcare (FOHE.BO), Max Healthcare (MAXI.BO) and Apollo Hospitals (APLH.BO) to set up medical colleges. Only state-run bodies, universities and private religious or charitable trusts were allowed to start medical colleges until now. The MCI has also relaxed the land requirement norms for companies planning to set up medical colleges in large cities.

There is an acute shortage of seats in medical education in India. Hundreds of medical graduates go overseas to pursue higher education as current capacity was hardly about 13,500 post-graduate medical seats. Earlier this week, India’s cabinet approved a proposal to allow foreign universities to set up local campuses, part of long-standing plan to reform the education sector. The move is expected to reduce the flow of Indian students abroad, with tens of thousands of students heading to universities in the United States, Britain and Australia every year.


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