The country would soon get more trained medical professionals every year with the government on Thursday, giving its nod to increase the number of seats in post-graduate courses in 148 State medical colleges.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, approved a proposal on strengthening and upgradation of State government medical colleges for starting new post-graduate disciplines and increasing PG seats.

“The approval will result in an additional 5,000 seats in PG courses in 148 State government medical colleges in pre and para clinical disciplines like Anatomy, Microbiology, Physiology, Pharmacology, Bio-chemistry, Forensic Medicine, Community Medicine,” an official spokesperson said.

She said the decision would also be applicable to certain clinical disciplines, including Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Paediatrics, Anaesthesiology, General Medicine and General Surgery.

The Centre would fund the state medical colleges by way of a one-time grant of Rs. 1,350 crore under a new centrally- sponsored scheme, the spokesperson said.

She said the Centre would pick up 75 per cent of the expenses for starting new post-graduate disciplines and increasing PG seats. The balance would be met by the state governments.

“Release of funds under the scheme should be made conditional upon states committing to incur necessary recurring expenditure for maintaining the facilities created under the scheme after XI Plan period,” the spokesperson said.

Funds will be disbursed directly to the head of the institute in two instalments.

The State government will undertake to refund the funds if the stipulated increase in PG seats or starting PG disciplines do not fructify within the prescribed period, she said.

The proposal including quantum of funding will be decided by the Empowered Committee to be constituted under the chairmanship of Union Health Secretary, the spokesperson said.

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