If everything goes well, the two new government medical colleges at Handwara and Udhampur will start class work from next academic session.
The directions for beginning the class work from next year were recently given by Chief Secretary Dr Arun Kumar Mehta to Health and Medical Education Department during a meeting of officers of various concerned departments.
As per officials, each college would be having an intake capacity of 100 MBBS seats and would enhance the total MBBS seats substantially in Jammu and Kashmir.
Around 1612 posts of faculty, doctors, paramedics, administrative staff and others have been created.
Both the medical colleges are going to cater to the needs of people living in far flung areas. Chief Secretary asked the officers to explore the option of hiring the necessary infrastructure for starting the class work near the respective district hospitals.
He directed the executing agencies to complete all the formalities for tendering out the civil works in next two months.
Dr Mehta also advised the department to simultaneously initiate the process for procurement of medical equipments for these colleges so that there is efficient utilisation of available time. Earlier, five new government medical colleges were sanctioned in February 2014 at Anantnag, Baramulla, Kathua, Rajouri and Doda.
In 2016, the then Union Minister for Health, JP Nadda laid the foundation stones for the medical colleges. In 2020, the National Medical Council gave permission to start an MBBS course at four Medical Colleges at Anantnag, Baramulla, Kathua, and Rajouri.
In 2021, Government Medical College Doda was also granted similar permission. Even as the medical colleges were made operational, the academic batches have been running from the makeshift campuses due to incomplete permanent structures.
Now the work on the new buildings for five medical colleges is nearly complete. The academic activities are being shifted to the permanent structures in a phased manner.
Establishing new government medical colleges increased significantly the number of MBBS seats in J&K. There is need to set up more medical colleges in government and private sectors here, so that more and more medical students get benefitted.
A sizeable number of students from here go to outside private medical colleges for studying MBBS. Establishing more medical colleges, including private, can help such students to study in J&K and will also strengthen the health care here.