Without adequate infrastructure Odisha government plans to increase 300 MBBS seats
There are no adequate infrastructures to sustain the present MBBS students and faculty. In this circumstances such statement is like day-dreaming or the govt. is fooling the people.
BHUBANESWAR: The state government is planning to increase the number of undergraduate seats in all three government medical colleges to 250 each, the highest possible intake for any college under the Medical Council of India (MCI) norms. However, the government has been struggling hard to meet the standard set for the existing capacity of 150 students in these colleges.
Working on the principle that raising the capacity in the colleges instead of establishing new ones will save costs, the government has been pushing for the maximum seat possibiity. There are just 10 medical colleges across India with such peak ability.
“The government will approach MCI to consider 100 more seats for Cuttack in 2013. A year later in 2014, it will plead for similar hike in VSS Medical College and Hospital Burla and MKCG Medical College and Hospital Berhampur,” said Dr P K Das, director medical education and training (DMET).
Dr Das said the Cuttack hospital is almost ready for the increase in seats, while efforts are on to match the requirement in the two other colleges. The government will create additional lecture theatres, increase hostel capacity, create one auditorium of 650-capacity each and upgrade laboratories and libraries in these colleges. The state has to increase the bed strength in Burla and Berhampur hospitals to at least 1,190 as per MCI norms for 250 MBBS seats from the current 800 and 1,081 beds respectively. The Cuttack hospital has a bed strength of 1,600, which exceeds the minimum bed requirement criteria for 250 seats.
Dr Das said after infrastructure upgradation, there should not be any big huddles in increasing the number of seats. “We don’t have to worry much about faculties, except for filling up existing vacancies as the sanctioned strength is not far short of meeting the criteria for the proposed expansion. The government is taking steps to fill up the vacancies on a priority basis,” the DMET said.
If new medical colleges are established for 300 seats, the government will incur a cost of Rs 1,100 crore. But by spending Rs 450 crore on upgradation of infrastructure in existing colleges, the government can produce 300 more doctors every year at a 40% cost, said a senior officer of the DMET.
Notably, the government increased MBBS seats in SCB Medical College from 107 to 150 in 2006 and made similar increase in VSS and MKCG after a year in 2007. The MCI last year gave its final recognition for the increased capacity in SCB Medical College. However, it is yet to give its permanent recognition to the two other colleges. Though MCI inspection for permanent recognition in these two colleges is due in February-March, the government is still struggling to fill up largescale vacancies in the two institutions.
In Burla, around 60 of the sanctioned 163 posts in clinical disciplines are lying unoccupied, while over 20 of the 79 non-clinical posts are vacant. “We have written to the government to fill up these vacancies before the MCI inspection,” said Dr Santosh K Behera, principal of VSS Medical College. Similar largescale vacancies mar the MKCG Medical College and Hospital as well, sources said.
“We have around 50 vacancies of faculty members because base level posts of assistant professors could not be filled up for long. Now, the process has started again. We will shortly fill these vacancies,” said Dr Sunamali Bag, principal of MKCG Medical College. Hopefully by another year, the infrastructure for the proposed expansion too will be ready, he added.
Entry filed under: Education, Existing Universities and Institutes, Health Care Facility, Odisha's health care sector, Odisha's health care sector, Region watch, Sambalpur, State Watch-Monitoring the Odisha State, VSS Medical College.