Calcutta, Dec. 23: Realising that the proposed medical colleges in West Midnapore and Malda will suck them into heavy expenditure in the days of acute crunch, the government is planning to start an MBBS course at the 550-bed Jawahar Lal Nehru Hospital in Kalyani.
Director of medical education C.R. Maity said at Writers’ Buildings today the hospital has the infrastructure for a full-fledged 100-seat medical college.
“Dr B.C. Roy had envisaged more than four decades ago that the Jawahar Lal Nehru and Gandhi memorial hospitals in Kalyani would serve as super-speciality clinics away from Calcutta. We are now planning to utilise the J.L. Nehru hospital as a medical college,” he added.
Health department sources said this does not mean the decision to establish medical colleges in West Midnapore and Malda has been shelved. “We tried to rope in a private party for the college in West Midnapore but there was little or no response. The government has now decided to set up the two colleges on its own,” said an official.
Sources said ultimately, the state would benefit if the government converts the Nehru hospital into a medical college. “The two other medical colleges will have a strength of 300 seats and with 100 seats at the Nehru hospital, Bengal will have an additional 400 seats for undergraduate medical studies. Now, there are 850 seats in the state’s seven medical colleges.”
Health officials said the government was keen to create more seats for medical studies following the trend among students to shift to other states to study MBBS and for the post-graduate medical courses.
Maity said the government will upgrade the infrastructure of post-graduate medical studies at the Infectious Diseases Hospital, the B.C. Roy Memorial Children’s Hospital and the Chittaranjan Seva Sadan in Calcutta. Post-graduate courses will also be taught at the Gandhi Memorial Hospital in Kalyani.
“The three city hospitals are already teaching post-graduate medical courses. We will improve their infrastructure and use them to train the MBBS students in specialised fields,” said Maity.
Post-graduate courses in paediatric medicine and a diploma course in child health will be taught at the B.C. Roy hospital. Gynaecological medicine will be taught in Chittaranjan Seva Sadan and cardio-thoracic surgery and cardiology will be taught at the Gandhi memorial hospital in Kalyani, said Maity. The government is also planning to introduce post-graduate courses in general medicine and surgery at the Gandhi hospital.
Referring to the need to upgrade the healthcare network, Maity said talks are on with the World Bank and Britain’s Department for International Development for funds.