The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health has recommended that there is a need to significantly increase medical seats in both undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
It stated, “With an annual influx of approximately 2 million aspiring medical students at UG and only 1/20 times available seats, the demand far exceeds the availability of seats. Similarly, the number of available seats at PG level is far less than the demand.”
It recommended to the Union Health Ministry that encouraging private investment in medical education was another avenue to explore to increase medical seats in medical colleges. .
According to data by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, there are 702 medical colleges in the country in 2023-24, up by 81% from 387 in 2013-14. Similarly, the number of seats for the undergraduate course (MBBS) has been increased by almost 110% from 51,348 in 2013-14 to 1,08,990 in 2023-24, whereas the number of postgraduate seats has been increased by almost 118% from 31,185 to 68,073 from 2013-14 to 2023-24.
“Streamlining the admission process by implementing a standardised national entrance examination can improve fairness and transparency in the seat allocation process,” it said.
The states with large population should have more medical colleges as it aligns with the principle of ensuring that healthcare and medical education resources are proportionate to the population’s needs, the committee said.
The committee also recommended to the government to chalk out a comprehensive India-specific approach that considers the nation’s healthcare needs in the next 20-25 years, identifies the categories of doctors through paediatricians, ophthalmologists, neurosurgeons, critical care specialists, infectious disease specialists that the country would need rather than just randomly increasing general surgery, pharma, and anatomy seats. Tribune India