The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the setting up of 75 government medical colleges by 2021-22. The proposed colleges will result in 15,700 additional MBBS seats in the country, a government statement said. Calling it as the biggest ever expansion of medical facilities in the world, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said these new medical colleges will be built with an investment of 24,375-crore.

Here are five things to know about the government's focus on creation of healthcare infrastructure:

1) The establishment of new medical colleges will be done under phase three of the ongoing centrally sponsored scheme.

2) The new medical colleges would be set up in under-served areas having no medical colleges, with district hospitals having at least 200 beds, a government statement said.

3) For setting up of new medical colleges, the preference will be given to aspirational districts and district hospital having 300 beds.

4) The establishment of new medical colleges, to be attached with existing district and referral hospitals, would lead to an increase in the availability of qualified health professionals, improve tertiary care in government sector, utilise existing infrastructure of district hospitals and promote affordable medical education in the country.

5) The scheme on establishment of new medical colleges (58+24+75) would lead to addition of at least 15,700 MBBS seats in the country.

Continuing the focus on creation of healthcare infrastructure, the government had earlier approved establishment of 58 medical colleges to be attached with existing district and referral hospitals under phase one of the scheme and 24 institutes under the second phase.

Of the 58 medical colleges approved under the first phase of the scheme, 39 have already started functioning while the remaining 19 would be made functional by 2020-21.

As part of Ayushman Bharat, the government had announced two path breaking initiatives - Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah, Sarve Santu Niramayah- that will address health holistically.

In another news, some changes have been made in the National Medical Commission Bill, 2019 passed by the Parliament from the version that was approved by the Cabinet on 17 July 2019 and the Cabinet was apprised of these changes:

Clause 4(1)(c) –22 part-time members instead of 14 members

Clause 4(4)(b) – 10 members instead of 6 members

Clause 4(4)(c) – 9 members instead of 5 members

Clause 37(2) – added at the end 'for the purposes of teaching also'.


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