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Centre rejects proposal for second medical college in Chandigarh

The Union Government has rejected the Chandigarh administration’s proposal for upgrading Government Multi Specialty Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, to a medical college.

Confirming the development, UT health secretary Yashpal Garg said: “It has been rejected on the grounds that Chandigarh already has a medical college, and as per the policy, a district can only have one government medical college.”

The city’s only medical college — Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32 — offers 150 MBBS seats and 125 seats for postgraduate (PG) programmes. The PGIMER, a central government institute, offers PG programmes with nearly 310 seats.

The administration had, in January 2020, announced its intent to create a medical college at GMSH and sought the Centre’s approval for 100 MBBS seats. Shortly, thereafter, the UT health department had submitted a detailed project report to the ministry of health and family welfare besides approaching the National Medical Commission. The administration also held talks with the Niti Aayog on the issue.

What was the plan
The 500-bed GMSH is spread over 12 acres. The new medical college was proposed to have two branches — one at the hospital and another at Sarangpur. According to the administration’s plan, GMSH’s medical and health facilities were be utilised for the college. Additional infrastructure, such as academic block and libraries, was to come up on spare land on the existing compound.

Rest of the infrastructure required for running the college, such as office spaces, was to come up at Sarangpur, where the administration had even earmarked a 15-acre site. With land obtained for free from the administration, the total cost of the project was to be limited to construction expenses. The proposal also included an increase in the strength of doctors and other staff in the hospital.

The pandemic, however, led to delays in processing the administration’s proposal. Now, finally it has come a cropper. The administration has no plan yet to approach the Centre on this issue, said Garg, again citing the policy of just one government medical college in a district. Hindustan Times

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