Says medical colleges should only be started on the basis of need for tertiary care institutions

Doctors in the Health Service will wear a black badge to duty on Saturday in hospitals across the State in protest against the government’s ‘ill-conceived’ policy of converting well-running, premier hospitals into medical colleges.

While there is no official word out yet, it had been announced earlier that the foundation stone for a medical college in the capital city, by merging the General Hospital and the Women and Children Hospital, will be laid on May 19.

The Kerala Government Medical Officers’ Association (KGMOA) has also decided to boycott the inaugural function of the event.

The State committee of KGMOA, which met here on Thursday, decided that they will oppose such moves.

“During our last discussion, the Chief Minister gave us the assurance that our service or prospects will not be affected when Health Service institutions are made medical colleges. We are concerned about our future but we are more concerned over the fact that the policy of the government will bring about the downfall of our public health system, which has stood the State in good stead till now,” O.S. Shyamsundar, KGMOA State president, said.

Dr. Shyamsundar said there were already 25 medical colleges in the State, in both the private and public sectors. Thiruvananthapuram district had four and the rationale behind starting another medical college, that too within a few km from the Government Medical College within the city, was bizarre, he said.

“New medical colleges should be started in districts such as Palakkad or Idukki where there is the requirement for tertiary care institutions,” Dr. Shyamsundar said.