Medical colleges in India expanded by 67 per cent in the last eight years, from 387 to 648. There are 355 government medical colleges and 293 private medical colleges among them, as per data released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW). The number of government medical colleges (GMCs) alone has risen by 96 per cent since 2014, while the private sector has grown by 42 per cent. As a result, the number of UG and PG medical seats has increased by 87 per cent and 105 per cent, respectively, the report added.
A total of 261 colleges have been added to the country’s medical education system during the last eight years. The number of undergraduate medical seats has increased from 51,348 in 2014 to 96,077 in 2022. At the same time, the number of PG seats increased from 31,185 to 63,842.
“There have been concerted efforts over the last seven years to increase the number of medical colleges. At present, there are 648 medical colleges in the country, of which 355 are Government and 293 are private. In the last eight years, a total addition of 261 medical colleges has been added, leading to a 67 per cent increase in the establishment of medical colleges with a whopping 96 per cent increase in the number of Government Medical Colleges (GMC) alone and a 42 per cent increase in the private sector, since 2014,” the report stated.
As of now, of these 157 medical colleges 93 have already become functional and 60 are expected to be functional in the next two years, the ministry said.
The health ministry in a booklet named Governance Reforms In Medical Education (2014-2022) has highlighted the changes, advancements, and new rules in medical education under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration. The booklet states that the central government’s reforms have created opportunities for improving quality, access, and equity in the provision of a qualified and skilled health workforce.
The ministry further asserts that in 2014, India had only 387 medical colleges and the system had a lot of issues. A disconnect existed between education and health service delivery, as well as a high cost of education, and underutilization of existing resources among other things.
Amidst an incredible rise in the number of UG and PG medical seats, colleges are experiencing a shortage of educators/teachers, resulting in poor-quality training of medical students.
The government has said that by investing in expanding GMCs, it is ensuring that a larger population attains affordable professional education. However, based on a new Lancet study published on October 29, this year, the cost of medical education in India is skyrocketing.
“As of the year 2021, India has 13.01 lakh registered allopathic doctors (estimated active stock of 10.41 lakh- 80 per cent) and 5.65 lakh AYUSH doctors (total active 15.80 lakh doctors) leading to a combined doctor population ratio of 1:834 which is better than the OECD region average of 1 per 1000,” the report stated.
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