The state medical education department plans to revive an 11-year-old proposal for starting the first medical college in south Bombay – on the campus of the state-run Gokuldas Tejpal Hospital. Senior official said there had been several hurdles due to which the proposal was not implemented, but now the impediments have been removed.
The decision comes after Vidhan Sabha Speaker Rahul Narvekar held a special meeting with officials on November 20, instructing them to speed up the construction work of the college. “A 12-storey building was already constructed for the medical college in GT Hospital but the proposal never moved ahead and was stuck in internal politics. Until now the first six floors were administrative offices of the Bombay High Court. However, we will now be working on the medical college,” an official said.
12-storey building on GT Hospital’s premises did not receive green signal
According to a senior official, a 12-storey building was constructed on GT Hospital’s premises for the medical college but due to several reasons the proposal did not get the green signal. The state-run GT Hospital and Cama Albless Hospital fulfil the 500-bed hospital criteria to start a medical college. The medical college aims to admit 100 medical students and will be supported by GT Hospital, Cama and Albless Hospital.
“The existing GT Hospital and Cama Albless Hospital meet the required 500-bed criteria for starting a medical college. The focus now appears to be on the construction of the medical college building to move the project forward. It's evident that there is a significant effort underway to enhance medical education facilities in south Mumbai, and the meeting at Vidha Bhavan played a crucial role in formalising the implementation plan,” said another official from the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER).
Moreover, Sir JJ Hospital and Grant Medical College currently have 1,300 beds, which exceeds the 1,000-bed requirement set by the National Medical Commission (NMC) for their 250 medical seats. This suggests that the existing infrastructure is already in place to support the medical college in terms of bed capacity.
'Delay due to potential political rivalry'
Meanwhile, the availability of extra floor space index at St George Hospital and Cama Hospital premises indicates that there is additional building potential or capacity that can be utilised for the construction of the medical college and administrative building. FSI is a measure that determines how much construction can be done on a given plot of land
“The delay was due to political rivalry. Everyone wants one hospital in their respective constituency, but there seems to be a reluctance or lack of advocacy for the south Mumbai medical college. Political considerations can play a significant role in the approval and implementation of projects, and in this case, it appears that the absence of strong political support has contributed to the delay in realising the proposed medical college,” an official said on condition of anonymity.