The North Bengal Medical College and Hospital. Picture by Kundan Yolmo
Siliguri, March 1: The North Bengal Medical College and Hospital is preparing to create 50 additional MBBS seats, following a directive from the Medical Council of India to increase the number of undergraduate students in all medical colleges in the country by 2011.
“All medical colleges have to place before the MCI a proposal, stating the number of seats they can increase. The NBMCH has informed the medical council that it can create 50 more seats. The college is gearing up to accommodate the additional number of seats,” said J.B. Saha, the NBMCH principal.
The MCI — a statutory body that regulates health institutions in India — has proposed to upgrade the number of seats in all the medical colleges in the country.
The college authorities will now study the viability of accommodating extra seats at their respective institutions and present a detailed report to the state government’s directorate of medical education.
Sources at the NBMCH said all the nine medical colleges in the state are in for the augmentation of seats for the undergraduate medical courses.
“At present, there are 150 seats each in Calcutta Medical College, National Medical College, R.G. Kar Medical College and the N.R.S. Medical College. The SSKM, NBMCH and the medical colleges at Midnapore, Bankura and Burdwan have 100 seats each. All these colleges will get additional 50 or 100 seats depending on their capacity. The target for the expansion is set for 2011,” said a source.
A meeting attended by the principals of the nine state-run medical colleges, Samar Ghosh, the additional chief secretary of health, and S.N. Banerjee, the director of medical education, was held at Swastha Bhawan in Calcutta on February 24.
“At the meeting, we discussed the existing infrastructure at the institutions and the expansion required to accommodate the extra students,” said Saha.
The principal said the NBMCH could easily accommodate more students with minimum expansion of infrastructure.
“We have already four lecture halls, where more than 150 students can be seated. The laboratories will be expanded according to the requirements,” he said.
Although Saha was not able to spell out the existing faculty strength in the institution, he said the state government would increase the posts of teachers once more seats were created.
Another requirement for the upgrade is an increase in the number of indoor beds at the hospital.
“At present, there are 600 beds at the NBMCH. With an addition of 50 MBBS seats, we need to increase the bed capacity by 150. We are already working towards that end. Expansion work is going on in the paediatric and gynaecology wards,” said Saha.