NEW DELHI: In what could be a record of sorts, a private medical college in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, is charging students a whopping Rs 1.2 crore for each MBBS seat.
The fee-structure at Lucknow’s Era Medical College for the 2018-19 academic session, which was widely shared on social media, has led to outrage, with many saying the government is allowing unabashed sale of medical seats in a country crippled with acute shortage of doctors.
The first-year fee, at Rs 30 lakh, is the highest, and the fifth-year, at Rs 15 lakh, is the least expensive. The total adds up to Rs 1,20,97,000, of which the hostel fee is Rs 4 lakh per year, or over Rs 33,000 a month.
The principal of the college, MMA Faridi, was not available for comment despite attempts to reach him, but a senior official of the institute said the fee-structure had been finalised for half of the 150 seats available under management and NRI quota. “NEET is now mandatory for admission to medical colleges, so only those who clear the cut-off mark get in,” the official added.
The exorbitant fee at the college, which was recognised by the Medical Council of India in 2006, prompted several angry responses. “Unregulated private invasion in medical education has ruined India’s merit system. If only the rich and influential become doctors, they cannot be expected to serve humanity,” said Harjit Singh Bhatti, president of Resident Doctors’ Association at AIIMS, Delhi.
Former Union health and family welfare secretary K Sujatha Rao tweeted to say that the issue was “very serious”. “The implications are not good for India. We cannot afford medical education to be for the rich only.”
Arun Mitra, of the Association of Doctors for Ethical Healthcare, told TNIE that private colleges have been known to charge as much as `70-75 lakh for each MBBS seat, but a figure of `1.2 crore is “outrageous”. “I have heard of doctors having to pay `2-2.5 crore for PG seats, but this is a new high, or rather, a new low,” he said.