A proposal has been made by the Health Ministry to convert 75 district hospitals into proper medical colleges. This initiative has been taken in the third phase of the scheme which was made to boost the availability of human resources in the health sector.
The proposal was made under the scheme for “establishment of new medical colleges by upgrading district or referral hospitals”, which is sponsored by the Central Government. This scheme is going to be functional mostly in the underserved districts of the nation.
In the first and second phases of the scheme, 58 and 24 district hospitals were selected respectively for being converted into medical colleges. Out of all these selected hospitals, 39 have become functional medical colleges while the rest are under construction.
A source said that the proposal for the third phase of converting district hospitals into medical colleges has been sent to the Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) for their approval. After receiving their approval, it will be sent to the Cabinet. A cabinet note has already been drafted in this regard.
As told in the draft proposal, the cost for the up-gradation of 75 district hospitals to medical colleges will cost around Rs. 325 crores. On being realised, the proposal will fulfil one of the promises that the BJP (Bhartiya Janta Party) had made in its manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections that were concluded recently.
As told by a senior official of the Health Ministry, the shortage of human resource in the health sector has resulted in skewing the dissemination of health workers in a way so that the vulnerable populations in tribal, rural, and hilly areas continue to be undeserved.
Additional 10,000 undergraduate seats and 8,000 postgraduate seats will be created by this scheme, helping in bridging the gap between the availability of the number of seats in the government and private sector. It will also help in mitigating the shortage of medical faculty and doctors in India by increasing the total number of seats and will also prove beneficial in achieving the doctor-population ratio that is desired.