The Centre has decided to introduce a short-term medical education course at district level, in government-run schools, to reach out to rural population across the country.

“The Central government will soon launch a three and half year medical education cadre and open district level schools to impart it to produce doctors who will be later posted in rural areas,” Union Health and Family Welfare minister Gulam Nabi Azad told reporters here on Friday.

This short term medical course, including medicine and surgery (in the curriculum) will be imparted only at government-run schools and the degrees will be awarded by the Universities, he said.

At present Primary Health Centres (PHC) are manned by only one Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM) who is in charge of all the work. But from now, doctors of short-term course after completion, would be posted at PHC and sub centres, Mr. Azad said.

Acknowledging the scarcity of qualified doctors, Mr. Azad said the intake capacity of government-run medical colleges is being increased from 150 to 250 seats at graduation level.

Further, in post-graduation instead of one student, the guide will be allowed to have two students, he said.

The Health minister said that UPA government is committed to set up medical institutes on the lines of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and necessary tenders have been floated in this regard.

The government-run Medical College and Hospital in the city are among 19 such colleges which are being upgraded to AIIMS level.

The Maharashtra government has signed an MOU with Centre for upgradation and purchase of highly sophisticated equipments, he said.

Nagpur will get Rs 150 crores out of which Rs 100 crores is for procuring medical equipments, he added.

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