HYDERABAD: More than the facilities, what appears to be holding the key for securing additional medical seats in government medical colleges in the state is political lobbying with the Medical Council of India (MCI).
In fact, the MCI had agreed to allot 50 more seats each to 10 government medical colleges a year ago, but did not do it since the facilities that have to be in place to justify increasing seats were glaringly absent. The MCI had asked the government to first improve the facilities and infrastructure in the colleges before seeking increase in the number of seats.
Though medical education minister Kondru Murali had announced recently that the state government would get 200 additional seats in four government medical colleges for this academic year, the Medical Council of India is yet to approve it.
An expert committee from the MCI visited these colleges and hospitals and felt that the facilities were not in place to justify increase in the number of seats.
The MCI in its recent visit, felt that only three colleges - Osmaina Medical College, Hyderabad, Andhra Medical College, Visakhapatnam and Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool - had the necessary infrastructure. Of the remaining seven colleges, the MCI wants to select at least two colleges but there are doubts that the MCI would finally allow intake increase in only one college either Siddhartha Medical College, Vijayawada or Rangaraya Medical College, Kakinada.
The MCI team will make a fresh inspection in May of all the three colleges it has short-listed in the first visit and the two other colleges for taking a final decision.
According to sources there may not be any improvement in infrastructure facilities in Rangaraya or Siddhartha college overnight. To prevent the possibility of the MCI turning down the request of increase in intake in these two colleges, the political leadership is trying to intervene with an assurance that everything would be in place during the course of the year.
Sources said that unless the state government lobbies with the Union health ministry, there may be any chance of these two colleges getting additional seats.