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Up to now two weeks, the carping critics have labelled the returning medical college students from Ukraine as “unfortunate”, “ineffective” and even “nugatory”. When translated into Hindi, “bechare” “nikamme” and “nalayak” sound gross.

Everybody appears to have their very own opinion on the credentials of those college students other than a sorry feeling for what they needed to undergo in war-ravaged Ukraine.

On March 17, justice Rekha Palli of the Delhi Excessive Court docket stated that she “can not lose sight of the truth that on account of the shortage of enough variety of medical establishments offering high quality reasonably priced schooling to cater to the wants of the aspiring college students, they’re typically compelled to depart behind their house nation and pursue their research overseas”.

The excessive court docket’s statement got here whereas granting permission to extend seats in post-graduate and undergraduate programs in Santosh Medical Faculty.

Justice Palli’s observations hit the bull’s eye. The federal government’s incapacity to offer sufficient seats for MBBS, regardless of a woeful scarcity of medical doctors in India, can’t be uncared for.

India has round 90,000 seats for MBBS seats whereas round 16 lakh college students seem for its entrance check throughout India.

No less than 47,000 seats are in authorities faculties, the place charges are nominal ranging between Rs 50,000 to Rs 80,000 yearly, whereas in 42,000 non-public faculties charges, the charges common at Rs 16 lakh to twenty lakh yearly.

Often, college students who go overseas to earn an MBBS diploma are those that both fail to get a seat in Indian faculties as a consequence of poor rank or fail to get “fairly priced” seats.

It exhibits the demand for MBBS seats, which interprets into the aspiration to grow to be physician, is excessive, whereas the availability of seats – alternatives to grow to be a health care provider – is handful.

Nonetheless, in actuality, India additionally wants these aspirants to grow to be medical doctors, urgently. A research discovered that in India, there have been solely 4.8 practising medical doctors per 10,000 individuals in 2014, in distinction to the idea of getting seven medical doctors per 10,000 individuals. It concluded that it appears to be like like an inconceivable activity to attain even a reasonable doctor-population ratio of 1:1,000 by 2030.

Within the earlier Health Matters, which appeared on March 7, I responded to Union Minister Prahlad Joshi’s touch upon questioning the credibility of foreign-returned medical doctors based mostly on the pattern of excessive failure fee within the screening check. I had talked about that whereas the minister’s assertion obfuscates the primary subject, it undoubtedly wants rational scrutiny.

On this episode, I come again with an try to supply the answer to repair the scarcity of medical seats and therefore medical doctors in India.

The 5 ideas have been compiled after talking to greater than a dozen officers which incorporates well being consultants, former officers on the authorities’s apex our bodies, together with the erstwhile Medical Council of India, deans of medical faculties and respected medical doctors.


All district hospitals will be hooked up with a medical school. It might probably clear up a number of points in a single go, such because the addition of extra seats for medical college students and absence of medical doctors in rural areas.

State governments will be supported financially to strengthen the district hospitals for opening medical faculties. Ideated by public well being specialist, Dr Okay Srinath Reddy, the specialists within the district hospitals will be deployed as school for the brand new medical faculties.

Not simply medical faculties, he believes that nursing faculties can be opened alongside the district hospitals to generate a multi-skilled well being workforce.

Moreover, seats will be reserved for medical college students coming from the identical or neighbouring districts. These college students will be requested to signal a contract for some years, say 10, throughout which they can’t select emigrate out to city areas for job postings, therefore, lowering the scarcity of medical doctors in rural/distant areas.

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Whereas an analogous mannequin, however below public-private partnership (PPP), has been adopted by the Uttar Pradesh authorities, it may have a number of repercussions, as healthcare providers will shift extra within the non-public palms.

In UP, the plan is to handover the district hospitals to the non-public sector to open medical faculties.

The PPP mannequin must be handled excessive warning. Ideally, the operational management of public hospitals ought to relaxation with the state authorities, whereas the non-public participant ought to solely intercede to reinforce services, add capital and in return can use the medical facility for coaching of their undergraduate candidates.


“What makes you ask for a charge of Rs 80 lakh to Rs 1 crore for MBBS,” I requested two officers working at non-public medical faculties.

The reply was frequent – the funding is big, particularly, the price of land on which the school is constructed.

“It takes round Rs 300 crore to Rs 400 crore to construct a medical school and a giant chunk of funding goes into shopping for land, in addition to equipping hospitals to the extent of tertiary care,” Girdhar Giani, normal secretary of the Affiliation of Healthcare Suppliers of India (AHPI) stated. The foyer group AHPI represents 2,500 super-specialty and eight,000 smaller hospitals throughout India, together with Fortis, Apollo, Medanta and Max Healthcare.

As per the foundations, you may solely construct a medical school when you have land equal to or above 25 acres (multiple lakh sq. toes).

To provide you a tough thought, New Delhi’s premier ITC’s Maurya Sheraton, which is understood for internet hosting prime friends together with Donald Trump, George W Bush, Invoice Clinton, Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter, is constructed on 5.5 acres.

If the federal government removes the compulsion of 25 acres, a number of prime non-public hospitals resembling Fortis, Apollo, Medanta amongst others will be allowed to open medical faculties. These hospitals have top-class medical doctors who can grow to be school as properly.

“If not 100-bedded, then all 300 or extra bedded hospitals will be allowed to open medical faculties with a minimal of fifty MBBS seats. These hospitals can additional spend money on cheap items of land, if the requirement of 25 acres is modified, inside or close to their hospitals.”

In response to the current rule, to open a 100-seated medical school, one must have a hospital with a minimal of 430 beds.

ALSO READ | Experts Uncertain Over Accommodation of Students Returning From Ukraine In Indian Medical Colleges

A prime physician, who’s a member at a number of authorities panels, shared an instance of how Cuba runs medical faculties, explaining that the rule of asking for an enormous plot of land is meaningless. “Finally, college students must bear the fee.”

“In Cuba, you will see that lessons of medical faculties happening or the labs constructed in an official complicated or a purchasing complicated. Like every other workplace, they open lessons and prepare college students.”

In response to the World Financial institution Information, Cuba has one of many highest variety of medical doctors per 1,000 individuals. The WHO recommends 1 physician for each 1,000 sufferers, whereas Cuba has 8.42 medical doctors for each 1,000 sufferers.


Estimates present that two-thirds of India home one-third of medical faculties.

“Growing the batch measurement will not be a good suggestion,” a dean of a authorities medical school stated, saying that it impacts the standard of studying.

However operating faculties in double shifts could exhaust the college – the thought may have fine-tuning but it surely doesn’t require any capital expenditure, solely a slight spike in variable expenditure resembling electrical energy payments, salaries and so on.

In response to Bipin Batra, former director of Nationwide Board of Examination (NBE) – a prime physique chargeable for conducting medical entrance exams in India – a hybrid studying mannequin needs to be adopted going ahead.

“College will be incentivised, clever rosters will be designed and customary school rooms will be created by nearly linking a number of medical faculties to share professors for topics, the place there’s a scarcity of college, together with utilizing good studying strategies resembling pre-recorded lectures.”

The operational bills required can merely be adjusted towards the charge of extra candidates enrolled.


Separate insurance policies to incentivise company social duty (CSR), philanthropy and faith-based establishments needs to be introduced in to spend money on medical establishments.

These classes can make investments an excellent quantity of funds, if tax incentives and coverage advantages resembling land concessions, single window clearance for organising medical faculties and hospitals might be introduced in.

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Additionally, minority-run establishments have excelled in offering top-notch medical doctors to India. High medical faculties resembling Maulana Azad Medical Faculty in New Delhi, Christian Medical Faculty in Vellore, St. John’s Medical Faculty in Bengaluru have excelled in giving high-quality medical doctors.

A separate coverage might be made to encourage minority-run trusts.


The thought could not result in addition of seats for medical college students who need to research in India. Nonetheless, it may assist mother and father and college students make an knowledgeable selection when planning to go overseas.

“I’m advised that there are specific faculties in international international locations the place a batch of scholars consists of even 900 college students. Mother and father ship their youngsters with out figuring out these info,” Dr Okay Srinath Reddy revealed in an elaborate dialogue on the topic.

As an alternative of treating foreign-returned college students with mockery, the central authorities can rank and launch the country-wise listing of medical faculties based mostly on the efficiency of their college students in India’s screening examination – International Medical Graduate Examination (FMGE).

It may be a doc much like the listing of UGC-recognised universities that Indian mother and father and college students check with earlier than making use of for admission.

Furthermore, consultants consider that there are a number of medical faculties throughout the globe, for whom Indian college students represent a major clientele, who will probably be able to amend their curriculum based mostly on the ideas from India.

Batra from NBE stated that the establishments in Mauritius, Nepal and Philippines have adopted Indian curriculum for undergraduate programmes and the outcomes are seen within the excessive variety of candidates qualifying the screening exams.

This transfer will assist enhance the cross share of FMGE (the present cross share is as little as 15%) and can add round 20,000 educated MBBS medical doctors to India per 12 months, with none load on the exchequer.

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