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State to get 8 medical colleges

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 14: The state government has decided to set up eight medical colleges across the state on public-private partnership mode.

Of these, four will be set up in Bhubaneswar while the others will be located in Rourkela, Keonjhar, Jaring in Kalahandi and Chandpur in Nayagarh district. Apart from these eight new colleges, four medical colleges are expected to be set up by central public sector undertakings such as Nalco, NTPC, SAIL and Mahanadi Coalfields.

At present, the state has three government-run medical colleges in Cuttack, Berhampur and Burla near Sambalpur, while Bhubaneswar has three in the private sector. The All India Institute of Medical Sciences has recently started functioning from the city.

Talking about the colleges being set up through public-private partnership, health minister Damodar Rout told the Assembly that the government would provide land and required infrastructure, while the private companies would bear the remaining expenditure.

Of the eight private organisations, Hi-Tech Medical College and Hospital, Sahayog Health Care and Research Foundation and Sardar Rajas Medical College and Hospital have already signed MoUs with the state government to set up colleges. All these colleges will have 50 MBBS seats and 100-bed hospitals.

Rout said that Odisha had also approached the Centre to sanction four medical colleges during the 12th plan. The Centre proposes to set up 65 colleges in the country and will extend 75 per cent funds to the state to set up a college.

“We have given proposals for four colleges,” he said.

The state is also exploring the possibility of setting up four medical colleges in Betanati, Balangir, Jharsuguda and Rayagada. “We have already floated tenders for this purpose,” Rout told the House.

A proposal to start a medical college on the Capital Hospital premises in Bhubaneswar is also being considered by the government.

“These medical colleges will help produce more graduates and teaching faculties, which are scarce in the state,” said the minister.

At present, as many as 426 doctor posts are lying vacant in various government-run health centres across the state. The situation is the worst in the Koraput-Balangir-Kalahandi (KBK) area. Similarly, as many as 303 out of the total 899 teaching posts are lying vacant in the three government medical colleges.

To address the problem, the state government has decided to enhance the MBBS seats in the three government medical colleges from 150 to 250 each. It is also contemplating to enhance the retirement age of government doctors and medical faculties.