The Health Ministry has proposed to convert 75 district hospitals into medical colleges in the third phase of a scheme which aims at boosting availability of human resource for the health sector.
The proposal is a part of the centrally sponsored scheme for"establishment of new medical colleges by upgrading district or referralhospitals" preferably in underserved districts of the country.
In the first phase, the government had approved converting58 district hospitals into medical colleges while in the second phase, 24hospitals were selected.
Out of all these 39 hospitals have become functional whilethe remaining are still under construction.
"The proposal to convert 75 district hospitals intomedical colleges in the third phase of the scheme has been sent for approval tothe Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC), after which it will be sent to theCabinet," a source said.
In this regard, a cabinet note has already been drafted, thesource said.
The up-gradation of each of the 75 district hospitals intomedical colleges would cost around Rs 325 crore, according to the draftproposal.
Under the scheme, the states put in a proposal earmarkinghospitals in underserved districts to be converted into medical collegeskeeping the criteria in mind that the district should have no other private orgovernment medical college.
"The scheme aims at meeting the shortfall of humanresource in the health sector. Medical colleges are unevenly spread acrossurban and rural areas of the country presenting wide disparities in the qualityof education.
"The shortfall of human resource in health has resultedin skewing the distribution of health workers such that vulnerable populations inrural, tribal and hilly areas continue to be extremely underserved," asenior health ministry official said.The scheme will serve to create additional10,000 MBBS and 8,000 PG seats in the country, bridge the gap in number ofseats available in government and private sector, mitigate the shortage ofdoctors and medical faculty in India by increasing the number of seats and toachieve the desired doctor- population ratio.