The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has come up with a new scheme for strengthening and upgrading government medical colleges to increase the number of post graduate medical seats.

When approved, the scheme is expected to add 5,000 post graduate seats in various government medical colleges. This will be in addition to the ongoing programme of increasing the enrolment of post graduate students by enhancing the teacher-student ratio from 1:1 to 1:2 in some specialities for professors and in super specialities for professors and associate professors. This is expected to increase the number of seats from the existing 13,000 to 18,000 within a short period of time.

Already approved by the Planning Commission, the upgradation scheme is awaiting approval from the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA). The cost sharing for the proposed Rs.1,350-crore scheme will be on a 75:25 basis between the Centre and the States.

The scheme, to be rolled out during the XI Five Year Plan, will focus on obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics, and anaesthesia and starting post graduate disciplines in geriatrics, blood transfusion, trauma care and family medicine.

Under the scheme, 148 government medical colleges will receive financial assistance from the Central government to upgrade infrastructure, purchase equipment and also for salary of facility and support staff.

The scheme is now being discussed with the Medical Council of India (MCI) that recognises medical colleges and courses.