Nearly two years after the construction of the premises, authorities of the Madras Medical College have finally occupied it. On Wednesday, the first-year students attended classes in the new building. The seven-storey structure that has come up on the erstwhile central jail campus was built at a cost of Rs. 56 crore.
Although the construction was completed in the end of 2011, non-allocation of funds for purchase of furniture delayed occupation. The college had sought Rs. 6 crore for furniture but the government provided only Rs. 3.5 crore. The Medical Council of India’s approval for increasing admission to the first-year MBBS course hinged on the college’s ability to equip the building with necessary facilities. The approval itself came nearly a month after the first round of counselling. The MMC, which was hitherto admitting 165 students, could then take in 250 candidates.
Dean V. Kanagasabai said initially, the students will have only theory classes on the new premises. After the college closes for vacation on December 17, arrangements will be made to shift all laboratory equipment to the new building. “First, we will shift the three departments of anatomy, physiology and biochemistry. On January 1, when the students return from holidays, they will have their practical classes also on the same campus,” he added.
On Wednesday, health secretary J. Radhakrishnan and senior doctors from the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital, to which the college is attached, interacted with the students.