CHENNAI: In a big boost to medical education in Tamil Nadu, the Medical Council of India (MCI) has given approval for 305 additional post-graduation masters degree seats in government medical colleges in the State, almost a 40 per cent increase from current numbers.
“This is a big number… These additional seats were added to the matrix for admissions this year,” a senior health department official told Express. The State has also applied for additional seats in super-speciality courses. “We are waiting for the approval,” the official added. Of the 23 government medical colleges in the State, 13 offer PG degree.
In all, there were 1,188 postgraduate medical seats in these colleges last year. Of these, 792 seats were for master degree courses (Master of Surgery, Doctor of Medicine), while the remaining 396 were diploma seats. With the addition of these 305 PG seats, the number of PG degree seats has gone up to 1,097.
For the eligible in-service doctors who were upset over losing 50 per cent reservation in admission to postgraduate degree courses in government colleges following an order by Madras High Court, this comes as a huge relief, as more in-service candidates would get seats.
The Madras High Court had recently directed the State health department to follow MCI regulations for PG medical admissions. Under this, there is no provision for 50 per cent reservation for in-service government doctors in admissions to PG degree courses, other than to the doctors serving in remote and hilly areas.
The court said admission should be based on NEET marks and incentive to the in-service doctors served in remote and hilly areas. This triggered protests by government doctors across the State for nearly a month.
Following this, the State government notified some rural areas as remote, and began counselling for postgraduate medical seats.