Bengal to ask Centre to simplify rules for setting up medical colleges

The Bengal government will soon write to the Centre urging it to simplify the methods regarding setting up new medical colleges in the state and various other norms.

With the increase in number of medical colleges in the state, the dearth of doctors and medical professionals in state government-run medical colleges and hospitals could be mitigated.

The state government has already decided to set up five new medical colleges across the state. The purpose of this project is to ensure that there is no crisis of doctors in the state-run hospitals.

It may be mentioned that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee recently held a high-level meeting at Nabanna to take stock of the health services in the government hospitals.

After considering various aspects, Banerjee found that the number of doctors in various state-run hospitals is low. As a result, health services at these hospitals are often affected, leading to serious problems to patients.

According to a senior state Health department official, the new medical colleges would come up at Cooch Behar, Raigunj, Rampurhat, Purulia and Diamond Harbour.

The Health department also has a plan to merge the district hospitals with the proposed medical colleges.

In some parts, the super-specialty hospitals will also be merged into the new medical colleges.

Patients often face inconvenience in the government medical colleges, as the patient-doctor ratio is low not only in the state but throughout the country. Some of the senior health department officials believe that the Centre must take some initiatives to simplify the norms devised by the Medical Council of India (MCI), the Centre-owned regulatory body which looks after various issues including admissions to medical colleges.

Some people, however, have alleged that MCI often enforces countless norms on the government-run medical colleges and hospitals.

New medical colleges have to take permission from MCI for admitting students to undergraduate medical courses every year.

MCI also monitors whether the medical colleges are fulfilling various parameters and whether minimum requisite infrastructure is available at the hospitals.

Some senior officials believe that MCI must keep in mind the issues stemming from shortage of doctors in the hospitals before recommending to the Centre the cancellation of license of newly-established medical colleges.

It may be mentioned that the state government had also taken a decision to engage doctors practising in private health establishments at the state government hospitals to provide better health services to the patients.

These doctors will be given remuneration on the basis of the number of hours they devote for seeing patients. The state government's proposed system also aims address the crisis of doctors in some of the multi-superspeciality hospitals that have come up across the state.
Pradip Chatterjee

Pradip Chatterjee

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