Himachal Pradesh: It is reported that the state government is staring at a fund shortage to function four new medical colleges here. As a result of which, the state government has taken a decision to run the new medical colleges by a society under the self-financing scheme. The four new medical colleges are located in Nahan, Chamba, Hamirpur, and Ner Chowk in Mandi.
“Since the financial health of the state is not too good, we have decided to run the four new medical colleges at Nahan, Chamba, Hamirpur and Ner Chowk in Mandi under the self-financing scheme,” stated Health and Family Welfare and Revenue Minister, Kaul Singh Thakur at a Meet the Press here today.
This development is on a similar pattern like Gujarat. Thakur implied that the matter regarding the decision is to be placed before the Cabinet soon. There is no decision as yet on the fee amount for the education; however it will be less as compared to what is require at most private colleges. The admissions to these medical colleges will be done on a merit basis, with no nomination from the state government for these medical seats.
He also implied that Nahan Medical College is expected to be functioning from this year. Regarding other three medical colleges at Chamba, Hamirpur and Ner Chowk, the state government had put an application to MCI for offering 100 MBBS seats at each of the three colleges from the next academic year. Out of the 100 MBBS seats, the government is also considering offering a minimum of six MBBS seats under reservation for aspirants from backward areas.
“This provision was so far in place only at Indira Gandhi Medical College but now six seats each would be reserved for students from backward areas so that they too get an opportunity to get admission in these medical college”, he stated to the media.
Thakur also implied that the state government has hired 2,500 doctors and para-medical staff in the last three years. Besides, there are 1,597 posts of Medical Officer, 497 staff nurses and 160 of pharmacists sanctioned in the last three years.
A political tug-of-war seems to be brewing over the recent decision by the state government on starting the ESIC medical college at Nerchowk under the self-financing scheme. The opposition parties in the state are of the opinion that the said medical college should be run by government for the benefit of the common man. The ESIC medical college, which was to start its operations in 2012, could not function as there was a change in the state government in 2014; with the present ministry refusing to run the college. Only recently the decision was taken to bring it under the purview of the self-financing scheme by the present state government.
The BJP leader said to the Tribune that the people were not happy with the government’s move to begin the college under the self-financing scheme. He said the college would also cater to the health needs of those coming from Kullu, Lahaul-Spiti and Bilaspur.
Meanwhile, AAP has threatened to launch a protest against government. “If it can run the medical colleges in Shimla and Tanda, why can’t it do the same in Mandi,” said AAP leader Lawan Thakur.
This ESIC medical college is a 500-beded hospital and has a 40-bedded casualty department. Besides, there is one major OT, and two minor OTs. The hospital has 12 modular Ots and added facilities of auto-transfer of medicines, injections, samples from store to wards.