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Government today cleared a proposal to set up 58 new medical colleges in states with central assistance and upgradation of district hospitals, thus creating 5,800 more MBBS seats.
At present, there are around 50,000 MBBS seats across the country and government is keen to increase them to address the issue of shortage of doctors.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the proposal of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for setting up new medical colleges attached with existing district or referral hospitals.
Finance Minister P Chidambaram said the central assistance share will be of Rs 8,457.40 crore and the State/UTs share will be of Rs 2,513.70 crore.
He said the approval has been given for establishment of 58 new medical colleges by upgradation existing district hospitals in deficient states with intake capacity of 100 MBBS seats in each medical college.
While the funding pattern of states will be 75:25 under the scheme, it will be 90:10 by central and state Governments respectively for northeastern states and special category States.
The total cost of establishment of one medical college is about Rs 189 crore.
The distance between the district or referral hospital and the new medical college to be set up under the centrally- sponsored scheme will be within 10 kms and on two pieces of land, the Minister said.
Government is keen to set up more medical colleges in the country, especially in the deficient states, where the number of doctors is very low and the disease burden high.
The step is also aimed at providing more doctors and increase the doctor-patient ratio which is currently low.
At present, there are a total of 381 medical colleges in the country with 49,918 MBBS seats registered with the apex medical regulator - the Medical Council of India.