Govt assures continued funding for hospitals being converted into medical colleges

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New Delhi, Jul 10 (PTI) Union Health Secretary Apurva Chandra has informed all states that district and referral hospitals being converted into medical colleges will continue to receive funding support from the Centre under the National Health Mission (NHM), the Health Ministry said on Wednesday.

The clarification came after certain states and UTs made demands for construction of additional district or referral hospitals (DH/RH) due to apprehension that the existing DH/RH transitioning to medical colleges will stop receiving funding from NHM, the ministry said in a statement.

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 per cent increase in the establishment of such institutions, since 2014, the statement said.

India's medical education network has expanded multifold with more focus and investments towards professional education and quality, it added.

The focus has been on reaching the underserved areas and addressing the lack of accessibility, the ministry said.

Globally, there has been a constant drive for improving the doctor- population ratio to ensure better access to healthcare services, it said.

A centrally sponsored scheme to provide central funding support for opening new medical colleges by strengthening / upgrading the district hospitals was introduced in 2014.

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, the statement said.

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, it added. PTI PLB KVK KVK

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