Only 920 MBBS seats added in govt medical colleges in 5 years against 10,000 approved, reveals RTI
Out of the 10,000 approved seats in government medical colleges, only 920 seats were added in five years, revealed an RTI filed by an activist who wanted to know if the government schemes that were announced were actually implemented.
India not only has a shortage of doctors in general (there is one government allopathic doctor for every 10,189 people, whereas WHO guidelines suggest one doctor for 600 people), but it also faces a severe lack of highly qualified doctors. And now, an RTI has revealed that in the last five years, only 920 MBBS seats have been added in the government medical colleges against the approved 10,000, reported IANS.
Who filed the RTI to reveal the status of MBBS seats and why?
The RTI was filed by Chandra Shekhar Gaur, a resident of Madhya Pradesh.
"I had filed the RTI in March 2018 and got the response this month. It was necessary to know the status of medical seats in the country. The government keeps on coming up with new schemes, but how many are implemented? My attempt through the RTI was to expose this," Gaur, an RTI activist, told IANS.
India's healthcare industry is replete with problems and almost half the doctors in India are not properly qualified.
Gaur also noted that since the doctor-patient ratio is poor in India and private medical colleges are expensive, the government should focus on increasing MBBS seats in the government-run medical colleges.
More about the RTI and what it revealed
1. The RTI revealed that the government has given the approval to 36 medical colleges for adding 2,615 MBBS seats in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, MP, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Manipur and Karnataka.
2. The government also released Rs 685 crore in 2015-18 for 12 states for increasing the number of MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) seats.
3. But the RTI showed that Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan got only 50 new MBBS eats instead of the approved 150 and 350 seats respectively.
4. In Karnataka, 550 MBBS seats were approved but only 350 have been created.
5. In states like Jharkhand, MP, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, and Manipur, not a single seat has been added.
6. Madhya Pradesh was supposed to get 450 seats in its four government medical colleges, but even after a sanction of Rs 108 crores in three years, not a single seat has been added, revealed the RTI.
7. The Centre released over Rs 82 crore for Tamil Nadu to add 345 seats, but none have been added.
8. Punjab (100 seats), Odisha (200 seats), and Gujarat (170 seats) have upgraded their medical colleges and increased the number of MBBS seats.
What were the government decisions which called for more MBBS seats to be added?
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had given a proposal regarding a Centre-sponsored scheme to upgrade government medical colleges and increase the number of MBBS seats. A cabinet committee of the UPA government approved it in 2014.
It was announced that Rs 10,000 crore would be invested for increasing the MBBS seats -- the Centre would contribute Rs 7,500 crore while the states/UTs would contribute Rs 2,500 crore.
For North-East states and special category states, the funding pattern was to be 90:10 between the central and the state governments. For other states, it was decided to be 70:30.
According to the cabinet committee in 2014, the creation of one MBBS seat costs around Rs 1.20 crore.
Again in 2018, the cabinet approved the proposal for adding 10,000 undergraduate seats by 2020-21 and 8,058 post-graduate seats -- 4,058 in the first phase by 2018-19 and 4,000 in the second phase by 2020-21.
sources : India Today