An imbalance in the growth of medical colleges and institutions in India is adversely affecting the delivery of healthcare to people, Union Health minister Harsh Vardhan recently informed the parliament. In a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, the minister stated that the Health ministry has already made certain amendments to the regulations of the Medical Council of India (MCI) for setting up medical colleges. These amendments, he said, were made to address the geographic and rural-urban imbalance of medical institutions.
In the hilly and notified tribal areas, the north-eastern states, Union territories of Andaman and Nicobar islands, Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Lakshadweep, medical colleges can be set up in two separate pieces of land at a distance of not more than 10 km, the minister further informed. There is also a centrally sponsored scheme which looks after the establishment of new medical colleges attached with existing district hospitals, the minister’s statement read.