Handwara, Udhampur to get medical colleges

J&K is all set to get two new medical colleges under a centrally sponsored scheme for augmentation of human resource in health sector.

An official communication from State Health and Medical Education Department revealed that the State will submit a proposal to Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for upgrading district hospitals of Handwara and Udhampur to medical college level.  The proposal is being finalised, an official said.  The decision (to submit proposal) has been taken following the union ministry’s directions to the State during a review meeting three weeks ago, reads the communication.

A senior health official said the two districts hospitals had been chosen based on various parameters and guidelines set by Government of India.

“Udhampur has one of the best district hospitals in the State and was awarded recently while district hospital Handwara has always served as a nodal point for healthcare needs of people in northern Kashmir,” the official said.

The two hospitals have also been witnessing heavy footfall and fulfill the required guidelines, the official said, adding the proposal would be expedited as the State was “very keen” on adding two more colleges to its kitty.

The two medical colleges for Handwara and Udhampur are among 75 new colleges, to be set up in under-served districts across different States, under the centrally-funded scheme for converting district hospitals to the medical colleges.

The Union cabinet had recently cleared the proposal to upgrade human resource for health services across the states.

The allotment of the colleges will be made on first come first serve basis, as per the order, and the Government has already directed the district commissioners to identify land suitable for the projects.

“Land measuring 200 kanals (25 acres) within the radius of 10 kms from the existing district hospital is the first and foremost requirement for establishment of new medical colleges” reads a communication.

The DCs have been urged to submit the requisite documents to revenue department for formal transfer of the land to health and medical education department. 

J&K was allotted five medical colleges in 2014 under a similar scheme.