Medical Council of India (MCI) has recommended doubling the intake of medical students to meet the healthcare needs of the country in the coming years. According to a report prepared by the Undergraduate Education Working Group, the current intake of medical colleges and the critical mass of doctors would have to be doubled if India had to achieve the world average doctor-population ratio of 1.5:1000 by 2031 as against the present 1:1700.
Taking into consideration the existing medical colleges in the country, the eight-member working group, chaired by George Mathew, Principal of the Christian Medical College, Vellore, felt that the current intake of medical colleges and the critical mass of doctors should be doubled to achieve this target. At present, there are 330 medical colleges with an intake of about 35,000 and with the present intake the shortfall of doctors by 2031 is estimated at 9.54 lakh.
To offset this, the report has suggested increasing the intake in the medical colleges wherever there is adequate infrastructure of teachers, equipment and clinical load and to augment infrastructure in relation to clinical load by attaching established medical colleges to district-level hospitals or secondary hospitals run by government agencies; upgrading existing larger district hospitals and augmenting their infrastructure to become community medical colleges through private-public partnership or public-private partnership and starting new medical colleges and hospitals preferably in states and underserved areas with doctors and medical colleges. [Source: Hindu]