Srinagar: To overcome specialist doctor shortages, the Medical Council of India(MCI), has written to medical colleges of Jammu and Kashmir and other states to apply for an increase in the number of postgraduate seats in their colleges.
Sources reveal that J&K colleges have a chance to get a 70 seat increase sanction from the MCI for the coming academic session. According to them, it is for the second year round that the MCI has asked the medical colleges of Jammu and Kashmir to submit their infrastructural and faculty details by or before 19 January. This is to be done in order to be considered for the one-time seat increase in the clinical postgraduate courses for the academic year 2018-19.
The decision was taken in January, this year, as part of the Government of India initiative to revamp medical education and address the shortage of doctors across India. Under this initiative, the source said the teacher-student ratio was revised to pave way for increase in the intake capacity of medical college
This government initiative has led to hopes being raised among the colleges of Kashmir for an imminent hike of 70 postgraduate seats in the forthcoming academic session for the year 2018-19.
Prof Samia Rashid, Principal, Government Medical College, said that the process for securing the postgraduate seats has “already begun.”
“Yes, we have received a communication from the MCI but even before that, we were on the job of getting our seats increased,” she claimed.
Departments of Gynaecology and Obstetrics and Pathology are likely to witness a hike in seats along with other departments that received a nod last year said the Principal.
During the last academic session, Kashmir medical colleges were able to get a go-ahead for 57 postgraduate seats—37 in GMC Srinagar and 20 in SKIMS medical college, although the expected increase was more.
Administrative indifference had led to the MCI turning down the application of GMC Srinagar for increasing the seats in gynecology, dashing hopes of better maternity services in Kashmir. No postgraduate seats for pathology department were given approval either in the college.
Confusion prevailed at SKIMS Medical College regarding the submitted proposal for a seat increase to the Council. However, it was later resolved with an extension being granted for the date of application.
Besides addressing shortages of doctors and faculty through a hike in postgraduate seats to J&K colleges, the state is also expecting five new medical colleges, sanctioned by the government of India in 2014, to come up at Anantnag, , Kathua, Baramulla, Rajouri and Doda.
Last week, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare informed the Rajya Sabha that 5,800 PG seats were being increased this year in medical colleges across India. However, he added that no state-wise data for doctor-patient ratio was available, reports Greater Kashmir.