Tribune News Service
Patiala, March 7
The state seems to have reached a saturation point when it comes to expansion of medical education because successive governments have failed to add a single government medical college over the past 46 years. Guru Gobind Singh Medical College, in Faridkot, was the last medical college set up by the government in 1973, while neighbouring Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan are way ahead in this regard.
Three government medical colleges each in Haryana and Himachal Pradesh have come up in the past five years while Rajasthan has already started five government colleges over the past three years.
On the other hand, in Punjab, Mohali Medical College, also known as the BR Ambedkar State Institute of Medical Sciences, was announced in 2012, but it is a non-starter till now. The Capt Amarinder Singh-led government had announced to start the college soon, but the ground reality did not change.
Commenting on the delay, Dr Akashdeep, joint DRME, said, “In December last year, we had applied for permission once again. However, the licensing authority — the National Medical Commission (NMC) — is yet to conduct an inspection. The permission to start the college will be granted only after the inspection.”
Dr Bhavneet Bharti, Director Principal, BR Ambedkar State Institute of Medical Sciences, said, “We have already given appointment letters to around 18 persons, but many of them have not joined due to multiple reasons. We hope to have a teaching faculty of 50 soon.”
Sources said the Mohali Medical College is located next to a private hospital and can affect its footfall. Therefore, vested interests are on purpose are creating roadblocks in the functioning of the college.
Medical Education Minister OP Soni said, “We will definitely start the Mohali Medical College this year. We will make amendments in rules to avoid any legal hurdles by applicants in the recruitment of teaching faculty. Besides Mohali, we are coming up with two more medical colleges in the coming years.”
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