The seven new government medical colleges that were given a go-ahead recently may begin working in the next academic year. The Karnataka State government, which has accorded permission to the medical colleges at Chamarajanagar, Tumkur, Haveri, Chitradurga, Koppal, Gadag and Madikeri, is working to ensure that the colleges start functioning in 2013-14.

Announcing this at a press conference in Bangalore on Wednesday, Medical Education Minister S.A. Ramdas said that these colleges would start functioning in 2013-14. He said that each one of the colleges will have an intake of 100 undergraduates.

Deputy Commissioners of the seven districts have been instructed to pursue the matter on priority, as representatives of the Medical Council of India (MCI) were likely to visit these colleges in January 2013, he said.

The Minister said that the Cabinet had cleared a proposal to upgrade the Medical College Teaching Hospital in Bidar with a financial allocation of Rs. 87.50 crore and a Government Order had been issued. “Now, the bed strength in the hospital will increase to 750 from 350,” he said.

He said that the Cabinet had also cleared a proposal to extend financial assistance to make OPEC Hospital in Raichur functional. A financial allocation of Rs. 20.02 crore for creation of 648 teaching and non-teaching staff posts and purchasing equipment and Rs. 19.29 crore for meeting the recurring expenditure of the hospital had been made. “A Government Order has been issued and the hospital will be opened on December 1, 2012,” he said.

The government has planned to establish tertiary cancer care centre in the nine medical colleges with an aim to providing facilities for early detection and treatment for cancer, as pressure was mounting on the Kidwai Institute of Oncology. “It is an attempt to help patients who were forced to visit Bangalore for treatment from distant parts of the State,” he said.

The Union government would support the project by extending a financial assistance of Rs. 50 crore and the State government would provide Rs. 60 crore. “A detailed proposal has been submitted to the Union government,” he added.

Noting that Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad had lauded the introduction of the Rural Health Bill making doctors compulsorily serve in rural areas after their studies, Mr. Ramdas said that of the 6,000 medical graduates every year, 2,400 might opt for higher studies and the remaining doctors have to render rural service.

The services of 1,500 students from outside the State who graduate here would be added to the Central pool to be used in their States. “Similarly, even post-graduates have, after completing their course, to do one year service in taluk and district hospitals,” he said.

The State government had submitted a proposal to increase the intake under the Union government programme of up-gradating medical colleges. The Union government had in principle agreed to the proposal and with this, the number of medial seats would go up to 1,900 from 1,250.

In view of the intake in the seven new medical colleges, the number of MBBS seats would go up to 2,600. Similarly, the number of post-graduate seats available in the 10 medical colleges would increase to 700 from 616, he said.

The Minister that malnutrition wards had been established in all the 10 medical colleges for treatment of severely malnourished children.