Mumbai: The state government may soon start work on setting up 11 new medical colleges and hospitals, which have been announced by Medical Education Minister Girish Mahajan.
The state directorate of medical education and research (DMER) has submitted a detailed proposal to the government for constructing colleges at 11 places in the state that lack adequate healthcare facilities. According to the proposal, which will likely be taken up by the state cabinet for approval in the days to come, each college will have an intake capacity of 100 students, while the attached hospitals will have 430 beds each.
The state currently has 57 medical colleges with a cumulative intake capacity of around 9,000.
The directorate has also identified various plots of land in Ambernath, Palghar, Gadchiroli, Amravati, Hingoli, Washim, Jalna, Buldhana, Ahmednagar, Bhandara and Wardha that can be made available for college buildings. The cost of entire project, including construction, equipment and salaries to be paid to hospital officials and employees, has been estimated to be Rs 5335.88 crore.
“The proposal will be sent for the cabinet’s approval within next couple of weeks,” said Dr Ashwini Joshi, Secretary, Medical Education and Drugs Department.
New colleges to improve state's healthcare
Last year, the government had announced setting up medical colleges in 12 districts that don’t have even a single college. The state will take a loan of Rs 4,000 crore from the Asian Development Bank, while also borrowing from the International Finance Corporation, Mahajan had said.
The move is aimed at the state’s abysmal doctor-to-resident ratio, which stands at 0.64:1000, much lower than the minimum four doctors per 1000 residents benchmark set by the World Health Organisation (WHO). According to DMER, around 30 to 40% positions in the state’s public health facilities are lying vacant, which results in poor healthcare access in the state’s rural, semi-urban and remote areas.
Land identified, cost estimated for colleges
Most of the land spotted for new medical colleges is under the control of either district collectorates or the state’s various departments including revenue, forest and animal husbandry. In Gadchiroli and Amravati districts, the directorate has proposed to make necessary changes in under construction nursing colleges to also use them temporarily for medical college.
In order to meet the norms set by the National Medical Commission (NMC), DMER has also proposed to temporarily transfer the control of land, district hospitals and their facilities from public health departments of district administration to the state’s medical education department until the construction of new colleges.
The construction cost of each college has been pegged at Rs 216.75 crore. The directorate has also suggested creating 448 new posts of employees for each college, which is estimated to cost the state Rs 34.7 crore over a period of four years. On the other hand, the attached hospitals will each need 986 employees, whose salaries will add up to Rs 42.9 crore.
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