The Union Cabinet approved schemes worth about Rs 14,930 crore to boost the availability of human resources for the health and medical sector including the establishment of 24 new medical colleges in unreserved areas.It also approved increasing seats in medical colleges by 2020-21, according to an official statement.
Hailing the decisions taken by the Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today regarding the proposal for continuation and taking up additional phases of Human Resources for Health and Medical Education schemes, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare Shri J P Nadda said that Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah, Sarve Santu Niramayah is the guiding principle of the Government.
The government has announced as a part of Ayushman Bharat two path-breaking initiatives that address health holistically, impacting primary, secondary and tertiary care system as well as prevention and health promotion.
The 1.5 lakh health and wellness centres, announced in the Budget, will provide people-centric comprehensive primary health care including for common non-communicable diseases closer to the homes of people including providing free essential drugs and diagnostics.
The second initiative under Ayushman Bharat is National Health Protection Scheme, under which over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families (approx. 50 crore beneficiaries) will be provided treatment coverage up to Rs. 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization.
The Health Minister stated that Government is consciously working towards improving health infrastructure as well as health manpower in the country.
To improve the health infrastructure in the country this Government has announced the establishment of 13 new AIIMS as well as has approved setting up of Super-specialty facilities at 15 existing Government Medical Colleges, Shri Nadda added.
Continuing the focus on the creation of healthcare infrastructure, the Government today gave approval to the continuation of an ongoing scheme to establish 58 new Medical Colleges attached to existing district/referral hospitals. Of this, 8 medical colleges have already started functioning in last 3 years, while the remaining 50 would be made functional by 2019-20. The Cabinet also gave approval for the establishment of 24 additional Government Medical Colleges attached with existing district/referral hospitals by 2021-22, in the identified underserved areas in the country. In addition, the Cabinet approved continuation and completion of the scheme for setting up of 112 Auxiliary Nursing and Midwifery Schools (ANM) and 136 General Nursing Midwifery (GNM) schools by 2019-20 in the underserved areas of the country.
To increase the availability of qualified doctors, the Cabinet also gave approval for an increase of 10,000 MBBS seats by 2020-21 and 8058 PG seats by 2020-21. Besides, the scheme on the establishment of new medical colleges (58+24) would lead to the addition of another 8200 MBBS seats in the country. The proactive steps taken by the government to increase the number of qualified doctors in the country has already added nearly 13,000 MBBS seats and 7,000 PG medical since 2014-15. With the approval of 24 new Government Medical Colleges, the Government has ensured setting up of at least one medical college for every 3 Parliamentary Constituencies and at least one Government Medical College in every State of the country.
For the schemes approved today to increase the availability of healthcare infrastructure and manpower, Cabinet sanctioned for the expenditure of Rs. 14,930.92 crore as Central share during the 14th Finance Commission period i.e. up to 2019-20. The balance Central share of Rs. 5,658 crore will be released after 2019-20.
The Cabinet decision aims to create additional manpower especially focussing on increasing government seats in the under-served or un-served areas to make medical education more affordable for the general public, bridge the provider-patient ratio to attain Sustainable Development Goals and meet WHO standards.
The establishment of new Medical Colleges and increase of MBBS seats and PG seats would lead to increase in the availability of qualified health professionals, improve tertiary care in the Government sector, utilize existing infrastructure of districts hospitals and promote affordable medical education in the country.