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Diphu Medical College hope belied

Government wants to set up new medical colleges without realizing what the colleges require, observes the Medical Council of India

GUWAHATI, June 4: The Centre has rejected Dispur’s proposal to start a new medical college at Diphu in Karbi Anglong district that would have created 100 additional MBBS seats for the students of the State for the 2018-19 academic session.

Sources told The Sentinel on Monday that the Union Health Ministry last week rejected the proposal for a new government medical college at Diphu on the basis of recommendations from the Medical Council of India (MCI), the apex regulatory body for medical education that assesses whether the medical colleges across the country have the required infrastructure, faculties and number of patients.

“Construction of the medical college at Diphu has been completed. The Assam government had submitted a proposal to the MCI to start the first academic session from this year with 100 seats. But the MCI is not convinced with Dispur’s assurance of adequate faculties for the new medical college,” the source said.

Besides Diphu Medical College, the Union Health Ministry has also rejected proposals for approval of 68 new medical colleges in different parts of the country which would have added 9,000 MBBS seats for the 2018-19 academic session.

The MCI has cited deficiencies in the colleges and highlighted how a scarcity of resources is challenging India’s ambition to expand medical education.

“The government wants to set up new medical colleges without realizing what the colleges require. That is the observation made by the MCI while rejecting the proposal to start new colleges,” a source said, adding that among the 68 rejected proposals for new medical colleges, 37 are from private institutions.

Assam has now six medical colleges – Gauhati Medical College & Hospital, Assam Medical College & Hospital, Dibrugarh, Silchar Medical College & Hospital, Jorhat Medical College & Hospital, Tezpur Medical College & Hospital, and Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed Medical College & Hospital, Barpeta. The total number of MBBS seats in these medical colleges stands at 726.

The development has come as a setback to Dispur’s ambitious scheme to set up more medical colleges in the State to produce more doctors.

Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma last year announced setting up of three new medical colleges and hospitals in Dhubri, Nagaon and Lakhimpur over the next three years with an investment of Rs 570 crore.