Maha Cabinet Nod for medical colleges, SS hospitals under PPP mode, aims to add 1000 MD, MS, DNB seats
"In the next three years, additional 1,000 seats in MD, MS and DNB courses will be created. These 1,000 seats include 350 in the proposed government medical colleges and 650 in the existing medical colleges. In the next ten years, there will be 2,600 more MBBS seats, including 1,800 in the new medical colleges and 800 in the present colleges."
Mumbai: Aiming towards augmenting the health infrastructure and medical education sector in the state to address the shortage of doctors, the Maharashtra Cabinet has cleared a policy to allow setting up new medical colleges and super speciality hospitals on a public-private partnership (PPP) basis.
This major decision was taken at the Cabinet meeting held on Wednesday. The policy is expected to boost the number of doctors, including intensivists and specialists as well as expand the medical infrastructure in the state.
The PPP model will help set up new medical colleges and specialised hospitals and also link new private medical colleges with existing functional district hospitals to increase MBBS, MD, MS and DNB seats.
Health infrastructure via PPP mode
Currently, there are 18 government medical colleges and hospitals functioning in the State while eight more are in the pipeline.
Minister Amit Deshmukh said that medical education will change due to this decision. ''Every district will have a medical college. At present, 18 districts have government medical colleges. There are proposals to set up medical colleges in eight districts. We will utilise the Central government's scheme and funds for (setting up the health infrastructure) in Maharashtra,'' he told PTI.
"The move will greatly shore up the infrastructure in those areas where government medical colleges are absent. This deficit, which has been brought to the fore by the pandemic, will now be rectified,"he stated.
He said that the project to open new medical colleges would also ensure that vacancies in the medical field would be filled.
"The main objective of all the upcoming medical colleges, which would be equipped with all modern facilities, is to provide quality education and medical services to the people expeditiously," Mr. Deshmukh told The Hindu.
He also said that while it was not possible to say with any certainty when or if a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic would strike, preparations to manage a medical crisis were in full swing.
"This policy will be beneficial in districts where there are no medical colleges so far. It will boost the standard of medical education and also augment the medical services in the state. We are confident that the gap in the number of doctors, intensivists etc, which was felt during the pandemic in Maharashtra, will be reduced by this policy. The numbers of doctors, nurses, paramedics, super-specialists will be filled up through this," the minister said after the cabinet meeting, quotes HT.
In order to give a push in setting up of medical colleges and hospitals in rural and remote areas in the state, the state government could provide some incentive to private players.
A statement from the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) said that the state Industries Department's scheme of incentives will be applicable for private parties that wish to set up the health infrastructure in rural and remote areas, as per the PTI report.
A high-powered committee headed by the state chief secretary will examine the provisions of the scheme to be made applicable to the health sector and give approvals accordingly.
Increase in MBBS and PG Medical seats
Corresponding to the expansion of health infrastructure, the state government is envisaging a significant increase in medical seats and OPD/IPDs as well.
20 new medical colleges and super speciality hospitals can add 350 doctors including Doctor of Medicine (MD) and Master of Surgeon (MS) in the state. In 10 years, 1800 new medical colleges seats for MBBS will be created. Besides that, the additional medical infrastructure will help cater to 10 million patients in the OPD sections, 2,500 surgeries in one year.
According to the statement, as quoted by PTI, "In the next three years, additional 1,000 seats in MD, MS and DNB courses will be created. These 1,000 seats include 350 in the proposed government medical colleges and 650 in the existing medical colleges. In the next ten years, there will be 2,600 more MBBS seats, including 1,800 in the new medical colleges and 800 in the present colleges. Every year there will be an increase (in the number of patients) in OPDs (Out Patient Departments) by one crore and in In-Patient Department (IPD) by 10 lakh."
"From 2026, 200 additional intensive care units will be created, and the hospitals will be able to provide about 300,000 outpatients and about 75,000 admissions per year. The establishment of new medical colleges and speciality hospitals through public-private investment will create skilled and unskilled employees in small towns," a statement from CMO said.
The government's decision will help improve the health infrastructure in rural and semi-rural areas. Funds from the Central government and international financial institutions will be sought, the statement said.
The statement from CMO added that the viability difference fund (VGF) will be financed by the Central government, as per the Niti Aayog's policy. The VGF is a key bidding parameter. "In view of the continuous population growth, it is imperative to increase the number of doctors in the state from the point of view of public health and for this, it is necessary to set up new government medical colleges in the state," it said.
Deshmukh added that the district hospitals where tertiary care is provided can be upgraded and modernised through this policy and a medical college can come up in the same vicinity. "Our intention is to create world-class medical infrastructure in the districts. Similarly, greenfield projects can also come up where the government will provide them with the land, where the interested private player will set up a medical college, super speciality hospital and other required amenities," he told HT