It has been proposed to upgrade the district headquarters hospitals of Balasore, Baripada, Bolangir, and Koraput keeping in view of their conversion into medical colleges in future.

The Working Group on Tertiary Care Institutions of the Planning Commission has proposed to set up 50 new medical colleges in the country by the end of 2017.

Earmarking of four district headquarters hospital is seen as a move to take advantage of the scheme of the Central government during 12th plan.

“The State with three government and four private medical colleges is lagging behind other states in terms of extending medical education. This has also led to dearth of adequate medical professionals, thereby adversely affecting the patient care in the State,” State Health and Family Welfare Secretary P. K. Mohapatra wrote to his counterpart in Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Earlier, the State government has already sent formal proposals to the Union government seeking four medical college projects for the State. According to a report of the Working Group on Tertiary Care Institutions, there are around 335 medical colleges with 2 lakh bed strength in the country at present, while the average doctor population ratio is 1:2000.