Twelve years on, the Cochin Medical College is all set to gain a new image with the government tag getting attached to it. With the new status will come all-round development of the area too.

With the government order taking over the college expected anytime, the general mood in the medical college is one of optimistic expectation. Patients in the medical college have already begun asking “when” [the take-over would happen]. Students want the whole process to be over quickly. Members of the staff expressed their sense of security that comes with a government take-over.

With the new status for the college, the whole area is likely to get a facelift. It is the hi-tech corridor of the State with a number of institutions likely to come up in the vicinity. Situated in an area devoid of much population, the medical college was poorly connected by buses. It was at the request of the college authorities that some buses were introduced on the route.

The college, functioning under the Cooperative Academy of Professional Education, had been struggling to meet the requirement of employing the mandatory number of faculty members. Postgraduate studies are yet to begin and developmental and academic works in the college have been facing administrative hurdles.

While a take-over by the government sounds easy, the process is rather laborious, said a senior doctor who was associated with the college earlier. Whether the government conceives it as a stand-alone body with some autonomy or whether it would be a government college like the other ones in the State has to be decided.

The government may opt for a different take-over format considering the liabilities of the college, believes the senior doctor. It could be the CIAL or Regional Cancer Centre model in which the institution is under government control but still has functional freedom.

The criteria for admission to 100 seats also need to be decided, he said. There are many things that the government needs to consider. How the staff would be absorbed into government service and the issue of whether patient care would be free are just two of them. When the barriers of takeover are resolved, it could become one of the pioneering institutes in the country, said the doctor.

“We recently met Defence Minister A.K. Antony to garner Central support if the State decides to have a cancer centre here,” said N.K. Sanil, a city-based urologist, who was part of the public movement for the medical college’s takeover. “If that happens, the Cochin Medical College can be developed as a premier cancer hospital in the country,” he said.

Collector to visit college today

District Collector P.I. Sheikh Pareeth will visit the Cochin Medical College on Tuesday as part of the take-over process.

The visit is in pursuance of a government order asking the collector to assess the assets and liabilities of the college and provide a report within three months.

The administrative wing of the college has already prepared a brief on the college’s functions and activities.

This was done in accordance with a previous note by the Cooperation Ministry on the take-over process.

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