Karnataka Private Medical Colleges seek 20 percent MBBS fee hike, Govt to take decision
Bengaluru: Citing the huge losses during the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason, the Private medical colleges in Karnataka are likely to hike their fees for undergraduate medical courses by a minimum of twenty percent.
Apart from the financial loss due to COVID, the colleges have pointed towards the establishment of oxygen plants on the campus, stoppage of non-Covid treatment during peak of COVID as reasons for increasing the fees, reports TOI.
Meanwhile, in order to discuss the issue, the Government has called a meeting today.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported about the possibility of hike in the fees for MBBS and BDS courses in the medical colleges of Karnataka. According to the reports, speculations were there that the fees would be increased by 15% in the Government seats and 25% in the private seats.
In order to arrive at a decision regarding the fee hike, a meeting was scheduled between Medical Education minister and the private medical college representatives on October 21, 2021. However, it had to be cancelled as the minister was busy with prior commitments.
As per the latest media report by the Times of India, even though the private medical colleges are claiming a hike in the fee by 30%, medical education director Dr PG Girish has clarified that the proposal seeks to increase the fees by 20%. He has further informed the daily that "The government has called a meeting on Monday to discuss it."
Currently, Karnataka has a total number of 60 medical colleges with 19 belonging to Government sector and 41 to private. The state offers undergraduate medical education in a total number of 9345 medical students, revealed the data presented by MoS Health Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar. The daily adds that among these medical seats, the state has control over 75% of them.
It was 2019, when the UG medical fees in the State medical colleges were increased for the last time. Now, the students need to pay Rs 1.4 lakh per year for the Government quota seats in private medical colleges and Rs Rs 59,850 in a government college.
However, after the fee revision back in 2019, the pandemic struck the country and the colleges were almost shut for non-COVID admissions, which ultimately resulted in the loss of income for the medical colleges and made it allegedly hard for the managements to run the colleges.
Advocating for a hike in the course fees, the medical college managements have further cited that as the seats would be allotted via all-India counseling from 2021-22 onwards, this year, the colleges would get the last chance to negotiate with the Government regarding the fees.
Further pointing out the huge loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MR Jayaram, chairman, MS Ramaiah Medical College, and chairman of Karnataka Professional Colleges' Foundation has informed TOI how the colleges are basically being run by the government for the last one and half years.
"In our hospital, we handed 800 beds to the government for Covid treatment. No other treatment could be taken up in that period. Medical college hospitals are running without any income since the pandemic began. Many students have not paid full fee and are opting for installments," he said.
Another major reason that the managements are citing for a fee hike is the mandatory requirement of establishing oxygen plants and COVID testing facility inside the campus.
While commenting on the matter, the chief of a private medical college in Karnataka further told the daily, "The state government has agreed to bear 70% of cost of oxygen plant construction, yet colleges have to spend a minimum Rs 1.3 crore."