2019 to usher 5 new medical colleges in West Bengal
Kolkata: Medical facilities in Bengal will receive a fillip with five new hospitals coming into operations at Cooch Behar, Diamond Harbour, Raiganj, Rampurhat, and Purulia in 2019. Another private medical college at Budge Budge will also come into operation in 2018, provided the Council gives it an approving nod.
This would lead to a seat increase of 500 in MBBS courses, excluding the present 2,600 available in government and private medical colleges. 2019 would see this number rise to 3,200.
Since these colleges will be started on district hospital premises, the state government will be upgrading these institutes as well. The health department is on the lookout for principals in order to develop these hospitals into medical colleges.
However, there are apprehensions in the medical fraternity about senior teachers being reluctant to join these institutions, as they are far away from Calcutta. As these hospitals have deficient infrastructures for medical colleges, there would be a thrust towards setting up hostels library, auditorium, lecture halls, research units and quarters for setting up laboratories. Despite the hospitals being super specialty hospitals, they are deficient in facilities, complained doctors.
"The quarters are not adequate and they have no food stalls," a critical care specialist at one of the hospitals said.
A minimum of 300 beds is called for to start a medical college and a minimum of 25 acres of land for rural medical colleges.
According to the Medical Education, Director, Debashis Bhattacharyya, an application would be submitted to the center and the MCI for a clearance inspection in 2018.
"We are arranging infrastructure to meet the MCI guidelines so that the Council can give a heads up to start MBBS in these colleges. We have already recruited teachers and are looking for principals with requisite MCI qualification," Bhattacharyya told the TOI.
Raiganj CPM MP Md Salim said, "We're happy a medical college is coming up. The Centre has granted Rs 499 crore for setting up these colleges in districts where no such institutions exist. While the Centre's share is 60%, the state has to bear 40% recurring cost - salaries of teachers and staffers."