Chennai

Centre clears six new medical colleges for T.N.

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The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has given its final approval to Tamil Nadu’s proposal to establish six new medical colleges.

The institutes will come up in Tiruppur, the Nilgiris, Ramanathapuram, Namakkal, Dindigul and Virudhunagar at a cost of ₹1,950 crore, and will be attached to existing hospitals in these districts.

On Wednesday, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, in a release issued to thank the Prime Minister, said the Centre had approved the six colleges.

“It is a historic occasion where the Centre has granted approval in one go for six medical colleges in Tamil Nadu. I extend my thanks on behalf of the people of the State,” the Chief Minister added.

The new medical colleges would come up with 60% funding borne by the Centre and 40% by the State. Accordingly, the Chief Minister said the Centre had sanctioned ₹1,170 crore while the State government’s share of funds would amount to ₹780 crore.

Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar said each of the medical colleges would come up at a cost of ₹325 crore. This would take the number of government medical colleges in Tamil Nadu to 30. As of now, the State has 24 government medical colleges, with a total of 3,250 MBBS seats. It is proposed to have 150 seats in each of the new medical colleges.

The announcement comes days after the Chief Minister met Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the latter’s visit to Chennai early this month and handed over a memorandum seeking early approval for the proposal to set up six new medical colleges.

On September 24, the Health Minister had submitted detailed project reports along with details of land identified to the Union Health Ministry. Following this, the process of granting approval went through the technical evaluation committee and the empowered committee of the Ministry. Simultaneously, government orders were issued for land transfer.

Establishing six new medical colleges means adding up to 900 more MBBS seats to the State’s pool, including 750 seats for Tamil Nadu students. “This would not have been possible but for the persistent efforts of the Chief Minister who met Mr. Modi to press for approval. We hope to commence admissions from the next academic year and start constructing buildings in the first week of January,” a senior State official told The Hindu.

The Centre would enter into an MoU with the Tamil Nadu government for establishing each of the six medical colleges.

On August 28, 2019, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Mr. Modi, gave its consent for establishing 75 additional government medical colleges by 2021-22 under Phase-III of an ongoing centrally sponsored scheme.

The objective behind attaching the new medical colleges to existing district/referral hospitals is to increase the availability of qualified healthcare professionals, enhance tertiary care in the government sector, utilise the available infrastructure of district hospitals and promote affordable medical education in under-served areas.

Mr. Vijayabaskar added that there was no shortage of faculty in the existing government medical colleges and the sanction of six new colleges would add manpower and infrastructure to medical education in the State. Since there were adequate facilities in the existing colleges, the Medical Council of India sanctioned an additional 350 MBBS seats to the State this year.

“We are planning to propose three more medical colleges in Nagapattinam, Tiruvallur and Krishnagiri too,” Mr Vijayabaskar said.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 8:33:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/centre-clears-six-new-medical-colleges-for-tn/article29781373.ece

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