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Health education sees major upgrade under state govt

Kolkata: The Mamata Banerjee government has brought a significant change in health education in the state. To meet the shortage of doctors at various state-run hospitals, the state government has increased the number of medical seats in various courses and also in Bachelor of Dental Surgery.
After coming to power, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had laid stress not only on the development of heath infrastructure at various hospitals, but also on medical education, particularly the increase in the number of medical and dental seats in the state.
According to sources in the state Health department, the combined number of MBBS and BDS seats have increased from 2,205 to 3,750, while the number of post-graduate medical seats have increased from 880 to 1,297.
It may be mentioned here that the number of post-doctoral seats have also increased to 147 from 107. Around 93 tutor-demonstrators were appointed by the Health department, bringing the total number of such appointments to 2,095.
It may be mentioned here that the Mamata Banerjee government has urged young doctors to work in the rural areas in the beginning of their career, to serve village people. Many of the junior doctors were reluctant to go to villages. The main motto of the government was to ensure better healthcare infrastructure in the rural areas.
In dental education also, various steps have been taken by the government. As part of West Bengal Dental Education Service (WBDES), around 72 clinical tutors have been recruited so far. Steps were taken to also increase the number of seats in nursing courses in the state.
To impart better quality training to the nurses, the state government has already tied up with the UK government to produce more skillful nursing professionals.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between the Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research (IPGMER), Kolkata and The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), to share expertise and build a knowledge partnership between the two countries.
Another MoU was signed between the state Health department and Health Education England (HEE). Both the countries will work together on skill development by sharing their knowledge base.
According to sources, the Bengal government has allotted around Rs 57 crore for the 2017-18 financial year, for the development of nursing education in the state. It has been learnt that around 52 students have been admitted to MSc Nursing, 444 to BSc Nursing and 2,175 to General Nursing and Midwifery (GNM) course, in the 2017-18 financial year.
Five new GNM courses were started at Jhargram and Basirhat District Hospitals, Ghatal and Jangipur Sub-Divisional Hospitals, and College of Medicine and Sagore Dutta Hospital from September last year, with 60 seats in each hospital. The total number of GNM seats has also been increased up to 2,175 from 1,215.

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