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Centre to continue funding DH/ RH converted into medical colleges

In view of demands made by certain States/UTs for construction of additional District/Referral hospitals (DH/RH) due to apprehension that the existing DH/RH which are being converted into Medical Colleges will stop receiving funding from NHM, Union Health Secretary Apurva Chandra has written to States/UTs clarifying that all existing DH/RH which are being converted into Medical Colleges will continue their roles and obligations under the National Health Mission (NHM) and will continue to receive funding support from the Center under NHM.

There have been concerted efforts over the last nine years to increase the number of medical colleges. At present, there are 706 medical colleges in the country. In the last nine years, a total of 319 medical colleges have been added (including private medical colleges), leading to a 82 % increase in the establishment of medical colleges, since 2014. India’s medical education network has expanded multifold with more focus and investments towards professional education and quality. The focus has been on reaching the underserved areas and addressing the lack of accessibility. Globally, there has been a constant drive for improving the doctor population ratio to ensure better access to healthcare services.

A Centrally Sponsored Scheme to provide central funding support for opening new medical colleges by strengthening / upgrading the district hospitals was introduced in 2014 “Establishment of New Medical Colleges attached with existing District/Referral Hospitals”. Three phases of the Scheme have been implemented, to date, under which 157 colleges have been sanctioned in line with the objectives of increasing medical professionals. As of now, of these 157 medical colleges, 108 have already become functional. Of the 157 colleges approved, 40 are located in the aspirational districts enabling an impetus of investment in these districts.
MB Bureau

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