New Delhi, Feb 22, 2017: Recently, in his budget report, the Hon’ble Minister of Finance Shri Arun Jaitley announced that over 5,000 postgraduate medical seats would be increased in the country. India, at present has only one doctor for every 2,000 people as against the World Health Organization’s mandated norm of one doctor for every 1,000 persons.
Accordingly, the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and Medical Council of India had written to all Govt. Medical Colleges to respond for a one time increase in PG seats. The MCI also relaxed its norms – from a professor student ratio of 1:2 to 1: 3. Now for every 30 beds with a faculty of professors/Associate Professors/Assistant Professors one can have three PG students and for a unit of 40 beds with the same faculty strength one can have five PG students.
Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, National President Indian Medical Association (IMA) and President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Dr RN Tandon – Honorary Secretary General IMA in a joint statement said that “It has come to the notice of IMA that for multiple reasons, various Govt. Medical Colleges are not submitting the requisite information to increase the number of seats applicable to their medical colleges. IMA feels that Govt. of India should intervene and direct all Govt. Medical Colleges to avail this opportunity, fill up the requisite proforma and submit it to MCI. Towards this they can consider extending the submission from 20th February by another 15 days. All the administrators in respective Health Services should ensure that all Deans of Govt. Medical Colleges send the required information to MCI in time so as to take appropriate decision and timely benefit can go to genuine meritorious and poor students.”
“This one-time opportunity should not be lost since if the number of seats are not increased in the Govt. sector, the costly private sector will grab this opportunity and fill up all the seats. It has also come to the notice of IMA that many existing Govt. Medical Colleges are transferring their staff from existing Medical College to new Govt. Medical Colleges to fulfill the MCI requirements, leading to deficiency of staff in the original medical college. If this happens, the existing medical colleges will show their inability to increase their PG seats.IMA wants this matter to be taken up on priority”, added Dr K K Aggarwal.
In 2009 when ratio of Professor- Teacher was increased from 1:1 to 1:2, immediately 3,000 PG seats were increased in the country. Unfortunately, when the same opportunity is now given with the 1:3 ratios the Govt. sector is not responding as the way they should. The step taken in the union budget is the need of the hour, considering the nationwide deficit of trained doctors. The idea of constituting a separate authority to conduct various tests is also a welcome move as such a dedicated authority will help in bringing transparency.