NEW DELHI: The Centre has decided to get a study done to assess how many MBBS and PG seats the country needs before it stops granting approvals to new medical colleges and increasing seats in existing colleges.
In a significant rise from last year, 79,500 MBBS seats and 28,295 MD/ MS seats are up for grabs across 535 medical colleges in the country.
The spike in seats is aimed at addressing the shortage of doctors in the country.
The government has set a target of creating nearly 1 lakh MBBS and 60,000 PG seats over the next five years.
“However, we do want to stop at some point to ensure there is a rational consolidation of seats,” said a senior official in the Union ministry of health and family welfare.
“The exercise has been planned to avoid the engineering-boom crisis in the country which sees lakhs of engineers, with poor skills and employability, being churned out from a large number of engineering colleges every year,” the official said.
The study will be carried out by an independent agency, which will be appointed by the Medical Council of India-board of governors.
Addressing the Parliament on Friday, health minister Harsh Vardhan said India, at present, has a doctor-patient ratio of 1:1,456 against WHO prescribed the standard of 1:1,000, considering that nearly 80 per cent of a total 11.57 lakh registered doctors are into practice.
Officials said that though the government was keen to raise number of doctors and specialist doctors passing out every year, it was also concerned about reports of distress in several private medical colleges.
“If the quality of education is not good enough in private colleges, they will not get students. Since private medical colleges need huge investments to start operations, we have to have a viable scenario,” another official said.