Ghulam Nabi Azad expressed dismay at dearth of medical professionals in north, central and north-eastern India. The reason for this he said was that 80% of the country’s medical colleges are situated in the southern and western states. This has created an imbalance in medical personnel and facilities across the country.
“Almost 80% of India’s medical and nursing colleges are located in the south and the remaining in the remaining two-third portions of the country,” said Azad while addressing Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research ( PGIMER)’s 32nd convocation in Chandigarh.
Azad said the government plans to address the situation by setting up more medical colleges in 2012. “Forty-six new medical colleges have been established in last two years, raising the number to 335,” he said. He described this as “an encouraging growth trajectory” while saying the number of MBBS seats have also gone up from 32,882 to 41,569. “There has been an 80% increase in the number of seats in the post-graduate courses in last three years. From 13,000 seats, the numbers have gone up to 22,194.”
Azad urged fresh medical graduates at the institute, a majority of who are from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, to practice in north India, while asking those from Nepal and the northeast to practise in their respective regions. “We want our neighbours to stay fit and healthy as well.”
Azad has been in the eye of the storm recently with several proposals that hasn’t gone down so well with the medical fraternity. These include:
1. Compulsory three year rural service for all MBBS graduates
2. Doctors going to the USA for their higher education will have to sign a bond to return to the country after pursuing their education and not to seek employment there.