New Delhi: The Union Government’s nationwide attempt to increase more than 4000 PG medical seats has led the Union Health Ministry approving the addition of 184 postgraduate seats, across nine government medical colleges in Bengal.
An order released by the Health Ministry yesterday lists over 1,900 additional MD and MS seats, at over 100 government medical colleges, across the country from the academic year 2017-18. The remaining 2,100 additional PG seats being given away to Diploma courses.
Burdwan Medical College with an additional 45 additional seats, will be offering the highest number of seats to students, among colleges of Bengal.
The seat expansion also implies 99 additional MD and MS seats in four colleges in Assam, 64 in five medical colleges in Bihar, and nine at the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences, Ranchi.
India’s 470-odd medical colleges currently offer about 64,000 undergraduate (MBBS) seats; and only about 32,000 PG seats, of which some 18,000 are in the clinical subjects. The gap between the numbers of MBBS and PG seats has led to intense competition in the PG entrance exams.
Health officials give credit for the PG expansion of seats to the changed professor-to-PG student ratio, in medical colleges from 1:2 to 1:3. The Ministry is confident that change of ratio is bound to increase the specialty strength, all over states in both public and private sectors.
The additional PG seats may increase faculty strength at the district hospitals, set up to be upgraded, into medical colleges from the academic year 2019-20.
In Bengal, the district hospitals in Cooch Behar, North Dinajpur, Birbhum, Purulia, and South 24-Parganas have been selected for up gradation to medical colleges.
Anesthesiology as a clinical subject has stood to benefit the most, having been given the highest number of additional PG seats. The Safdarjung Hospital in New Delhi alone is set to increase its intake for the MD anesthesiology course by 54 seats, raising the final tally from 11 to 65. The other college to benefit is the Vardhman Mahavir Medical College.
“Anesthesiologists are needed in every surgery. They also manage patients in intensive care and patients in pain, and assist in palliative care. And there’s an acute shortage of specialists,” said a senior faculty member, Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Patna. The institute has added 13 MD anesthesiology seats, reports the Telegraph.
A senior health official credited the increase of seats in the said courses of MD anesthesiology and MD radio-diagnosis to the fact that unlike other specialties, these two are not dependent on patient or bed strength.
A faculty source at the Indira Gandhi Institute, said the increase in PG seats would also over time help the healthcare industry to tide over shortage of specialists at district public hospitals.
“While many will work in the cities, we expect that some will also serve in small towns,” the faculty member added. Furthermore, the PG NEET exam has made the admission process transparent, said the Health Ministry.
Attached is the full list of the fresh increase