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Health Ministry proposes to convert 75 district hospitals into medical colleges

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With an aim to boost the human resources for the health sector, the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare is planning to convert 75 district hospitals into medical colleges.

Earlier, the government has already approved 58 district hospitals into medical colleges in the first phase. 24 hospitals were selected for the second phase later on.

The government is looking forward to upgrade the district hospitals which are mostly categorized in the underserved districts of the country.

“The proposal to convert 75 district hospitals into medical colleges in the third phase of the scheme has been sent for approval to the Expenditure Finance Committee, after which it will be sent to the Cabinet,” a source said.

In this regard, sources said that a cabinet note has already been drafted.

The total cost of upgrading each of the 75 district hospitals into medical colleges would cost a whopping Rs 325 crore, according to the draft proposal.

This proposal was amongst one of the promises made by the BJP government during the Lok Sabha elections.

“The shortfall of human resource in health has resulted in skewing the distribution of health workers such that vulnerable populations in rural, tribal and hilly areas continue to be extremely underserved,” a senior health ministry official said.

The proposal will build 8,000 PG seats and 10,000 MBBS seats which will further help in eliminating the gap in the number of seats between government and private hospitals. This increase in seats will also bridge the shortage of doctors and medical faculty in India.

As per the scheme, the country has one of the largest number of medical colleges in the world (422), with an annual production of over 57, 000 doctors and 25, 000 specialists.

As per reports, the average number of graduates per medical college is much lesser in comparison to Western Europe, Eastern Europe and China.

“Hence, by opening new government medical colleges by attaching existing district/referral hospitals on one hand and liberalising some MCI norms on the other, a substantial number of MBBS seats can be increased thereby making affordable medical education available in the country and mitigating shortage of doctors with respect to the population and distribution of the human resources across the country,” the scheme states.

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