Calcutta, Oct. 1: The government is lobbying the Centre to persuade the Medical Council of India (MCI) to give a further two months to improve infrastructure at SSKM and Midnapore hospitals to meet the standard required to begin MBBS courses.
The MCI has told the Union health ministry that it has serious reservations about granting the extension to the Bengal government to rectify the infrastructure faults it has pointed out.
Union health minister Sushma Swaraj had assured the government in July she would ensure that the MCI grants permission to the two hospitals to run MBBS courses by September 30, the cut-off date for admission to medical colleges as specified by the Supreme Court.
Yesterday, the government sent a letter to the Union health ministry, requesting it to ensure a two-month extension to enable it to rectify the inadequacies, particularly at SSKM.
Health minister Surjya Kanta Mishra indicated this evening that he requested Swaraj to look into Bengal’s case during his recent visit to Delhi. “We have not lost hope yet. Even though the MCI has informed the Government of India about its difficulties to grant a two-month extension, we feel we will finally get the extension,” he said.
Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, who held a meeting with Mishra, was hopeful his government’s request would be granted. Health officials said the government is also exploring legal options if the Centre failed.