The state government is tabling bills for establishment of two Medical Universities in J&K in the coming Assembly session, one each for Jammu and Srinagar.
As per officials in government, a comprehensive proposal has been worked out by Health and Medical Education Department. "Earlier, there was plan to have one Medical University for the state but now we are planning to have two," a senior bureaucrat said. He added that the file had been seen by Chief Minister and Bills will be taken up in the coming Assembly session.
The proposal has emanated from the need to cater to growing expertise and infrastructure needs in the health education sector.
The proposal, as per the sources, had been gathering dust for many years due to 'politics of Central University establishment.' A highly placed health official said, "The idea was floated in the previous government also but it was not received well due to the highly charged atmosphere at that time because of Central University politics."
The present government, as per the official, has shown keen interest in establishing the Medical Universities.
The establishment of Medical University in Kashmir will bring all medical colleges and speciality hospitals under one ambit. This, as per healthcare experts, will bring up research and teaching standards in medical sciences.
According to doctors, having a University will facilitate UGC funding and smoothen way for grants for research and publications.
A Professor at GMC Srinagar said that Medical University will help the Medical Colleges being set up in Baramulla and Islamabad (Anantnag). "It is quite common in Kashmir University to have delay and hiccups in examinations. The problem is more if the college is new," he said. He added that Medical University will be able to do away with the red tape and administrative apathy usually seen for para medical courses. He further cited the example of pharmaceutical science courses at University of Kashmir. "A course that is to be completed in four years takes more than five years to finish because of inertia at various levels," he said.
The Chief Minister has been pushing to establish more colleges of nursing and para medical sciences in the state to cater to the growing demand of allied and support medical services.
Currently, Kashmir has one Medical College and one Dental College under Kashmir University. In addition to these, there are numerous colleges of Nursing Sciences and Para Medical Sciences. However, in absence of standardised teaching and examination protocols in nursing and para medical courses, a huge number of students are forced to seek education in para medical and nursing streams outside the state.
Currently, there are 19 Medical Universities in India whose courses are recognised by Medical Council of India.