The Union Health & Family Welfare Minister Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad today chaired the meeting of the Consultative Committee of Parliament attached to the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to discuss the subject of Medical Education. In his opening remarks Shri Azad pointed out that recent efforts put in to strengthen Medical Education scenario is beginning to show results. He elaborated that in last three years alone the number of PG seats has increased by more than 9100. The number of PG seats available in this academic year is 22,194 as against 13,043 in the year 2008-09. During 2009-12, 46 new medical colleges have been set up. Azad added that these strides have been made possible because of the concerted efforts made by the Ministry to facilitate and overcome the issue of shortage of human resources. Detailing some of the important initiatives taken under his charge, Azad said the steps taken include relaxation of land norms, infrastructure criterion; facilitating student - teacher norms and easing faculty selection by recognizing DNB qualification and age relaxation upto 70 years besides also funding scheme for strengthening and up-gradation of 72 State Governments’ medical Colleges.
Azad also informed the Consultative Committee Members that to give a boost to nursing education further, the Ministry has sanctioned, during the last two years, 132 ANM and 137 GNM Schools all over the country, particularly in the un-served and under-served districts. Shri Azad stated these 269 schools will produce an additional 20,000 nurses every year. Six nursing colleges are also being established at the new AIIMS being setup under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Surakhsha Yojana and these will be functional by next year. Azad also recounted that to standardize paramedical education across the country, one National Institute of Paramedical Sciences (NIPS) is being set up at Delhi and 8 Regional Institutes of Paramedical Sciences (RIPS) are to come up at Chandigarh, Lucknow, Bhopal, Hyderabad, Coimbatore, Bhubaneswar, Patna and at Aurangabad.
Azad also drew attention of the Members to need for creating awareness amongst people about various schemes and measures being undertaken by the MoHFW to facilitate services for the people including striving towards better medical education opportunities. He informed that the Ministry has undertaken Swasth Bharat programme on nearly 60 Doordarshan and Radio channels. He urged the Members to help create awareness in their respective constituencies too.
Cutting across party lines, the Members appreciated the initiatives taken, efforts put in and progress made in addressing the need for more doctors especially in the rural areas. Members however pointed out specific issues like more attention required to open more Government run medical Colleges; commercialization of private medical colleges; shortage of doctors in rural areas; more incentives needed for residential and educational needs for family of doctors posted in rural areas; need for continuous medical education for faculty members. It was also suggested that the Manipal pattern where adjoining areas have been adopted by medical college for quality medical services, should be replicated country wide.
Among the Members who attended today’s Consultative Committee Meeting included the Ministers of State for Health & Family welfare Shri Sudip Bandyopadhyay and S Gandhiselvan. The following Members of Lok Sabha: Deepa Dashmunsi, M I Shanavas, Shailendra Kumar, Dr. P. Venugopal, Sanjay Singh Chauhan, Dr R C Dome, Dr. Mirza Mehboob Beg, Dr M Jagannath, Prasanta Kumar Majumdar and Dr Virendra Kumar as also Members of Rajya Sabha: Moti lal Vohra, Dr. C.P. Thakur, Dr K.V.P. Ramachandra Rao, Oscar Fernandes, Baishnab Parida and Independent Inder Singh Namdhari were present at today’s meeting apart from the senior officials of all departments of Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.