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5,000 cheers for aspiring medical students

For the second consecutive year, the union health ministry has offered a bonanza to those seeking a seat in the medical colleges. The government is all set to add another 5,000 seats in medical colleges to ease pressure on those aspiring to be doctors. The attempt is also directed towards increasing the doctor-patient ratio. The addition of over 5,000 seats comes after 4,452 MBBS seats were added last year.
 
These seats are in addition to the 300 additional seats for medical students for six new AIIMS-like institutions, which will also be set up in this period. According to a ministry official, the government plan is to bring the doctor-patient ratio to 1:1000 by 2021 from the present ratio of 1:2000. The current figures suggest that the country is short of eight lakh doctors.
 
Among these seats, 3,595 are for MBBS course, while 1,442 seats are post-graduate seats. Sources said that the Medical Council of India (MCI) has given approval for 2,400 fresh MBBS seats in 20 new medical colleges and 1,195 additional seats in the existing medical colleges across the country. It has also created 1,442 new post-graduate seats, with 1,326 MD/MS seats in various existing medical colleges and another 116 super-speciality seats.

Among the new medical colleges approved by the MCI are nine in the government sector and 11 private ones. The states in which new medical colleges will come up include Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Gujarat (where the government-run Medical Education and Research Society will set up the medical college).
 
With this increase, the overall availability of MBBS seats in India will rise to 45,464 and the number of medical colleges in the country will go up to 355.
 
The government intends to take the overall availability of MBBS seats to 80,000 and the PG seats to 45,000 by 2021.
 
The government data shows that 66 per cent of the existing 335 medical colleges and 69 per cent of the existing MBBS seats are presently located in Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Goa.
 
The central India has only five per cent share each in medical colleges and undergraduate medical seats while eastern India, comprising Bihar and West Bengal, which feature among the five most populous states, have 10 per cent of India's medical colleges and just nine per cent MBBS seats.
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