Mumbai: The Medical College to be attached to Juhu’s Cooper Hospital is to be called Hindu Hriday Samrat Balasaheb Thackeray Medical College. With this development, Mumbai will be finally blessed with a new medical college after five decades. 1964 saw the last civic medical college come up at Sion Hospital.
Hriday Samrat Balasaheb Thackeray Medical College will be the fifth medical college to be started and run by the municipal corporation; and the first to be located in the Western suburbs.It will add 150 affordable MBBS seats to the current pool of 2,500. Attached to the existing 640-bedded R N Cooper Hospital in Juhu, it took three rounds of inspection by the Medical Council of India (MCI), before the submission of a a positive recommendation by it to the union health ministry, earlier this month.
The Governor, C Vidyasagar Rao, while speaking at the naming function of the college, gave a clarion call to the state’s municipal body saying that a master plan was needed to upgrade major hospitals of city. This he said was required, keeping in mind the population explosion in the city in recent years.
Calling the coming of medical college a boon for the residents of the western suburbs, he recalled Balasaheb’s love for the city and its poor and working classes. Citing the population being 12.40 lac in 1947 and having increased to the present strength of one crore, he said could be the reason to be attributed to the patient overflow in hospitals and out patient departments.
He called upon the administration to involve the corporate sector in developing hospitals. “ The corporate sector is now supposed to spend 2 percent of their profits on social activities. Hence I feel that a plan should be made to attract the corporate sector.”
He also suggested that nurses be called ‘assistant to doctor” for it would help boost their morale.
Speaking on the occasion, Shiv Sena Chief, Uddhay Thackeray, expressed his happiness on the endeavour of the Municipal Corporation to begin a medical college, which he felt would benefit the students of the city. He mentioned the municipal corporation having a budget of Rs. 3,500 cr and only getting a revenue of Rs. 300 cr from it.
Recalling Bala Saheb’s Thackeray, the junior Thackeray said that his work went way beyond politics. He spoke of the various initiatives such as ambulance service and blood donation camps having been undertaken by the party.
Earlier,Municipal Commissioner, Ajoy Mehta spoke of plans to have a new building on the college campus. This he said would add to the patient facilities.
“The municipal corporation has made a major contribution to providing medical education in undergraduate and post graduate courses in the state,” he said. The body was now attempting to strengthen medical services in the western and eastern suburbs, he further added.
The civic body hopes that the Directorate of Medical Education and Research(DMER), which carries out admissions across the state’s public medical colleges, will incorporate the 150 seats in the first round of admissions, beginning in July.
“We are hopeful that students can opt for the new medical college from the very first round. If not, we have requested them to consider us in the second round of admissions,” said Dr Suhasini Nagda, Director of Medical Education and Major Hospitals.
Approximately 54 teachers have already been taken from the other three BMC-run medical colleges at KEM, Sion and Nair, and posted to the new medical college. 18 posts of assistant professors have been created. The college is to have 21 departments initially.
A senior official said the college will be a five floor structure excluding the ground. Four floors are ready . “Since we have additional FSI, an extra floor is also likely.”
Civic officials said the MCI did not allow any liberties to the civic medical college except the 25 acres of land. “They had stringent criteria that have all been met. The library, laboratories, classrooms and separate rooms for HODs have all been built. Cooper hospital has an overall area of 10 acres,” said Nagda.
Dean in charge, Dr Ramesh Chaturvedi, said it will boost affordable healthcare in the suburbs that have till now relied on private hospitals.
As students reach the third year, Jogeshwari’s Trauma Hospital’s bed strength will also be added to meet MCI criteria of 750 beds for 150 seats. Currently Cooper has only 640 beds informed Nagda.