Leading hospitals aim to open medical colleges

HYDERABAD The biggest private hospitals in the city are queuing up to start medical colleges Almost all the premier private hospital chains like Yashoda Image Care Kamineni and KIMS have applied to the medical education department for approval to set up medical colleges

In the meantime biggies like the Apollo Group and Narayana Hrudayalaya are all set to roll out MBBS programmes from this academic year at their campuses in Jubilee Hills and Jeedimetla respectively adding 400 seats to the medical education pool in the state

The recent spate of applications by these hospitals was triggered by the Medical Council of Indias 2010 decision enabling entry of private players in the field of medical education Before that it was only state governments universities and registered societies and public religiouscharitable trusts which had sanction to set up medical colleges

Further for cities like Hyderabad land requirement for setting up of medical colleges was reduced to a builtup area of 10 acres as against the previous 20 acres This presented an added incentive to private hospitals to roll out their own MBBS programmes

While Kamineni Group has applied for two colleges in Hyderabad and in Krishna district Image Hospitals plans to start a school in Medak A college in Medchal is what KIMS has planned with Yashoda Group zeroing in on Rangareddy district for their medical education facility

But a possible deterrent has presented itself in the form of nonavailability of land especially for those corporate players who want to set up medical colleges in the state capital

There is a tremendous opportunity here Both experts and highend technology are available along with a huge patient base said Dr Bhasker Rao of KIMS However he said that it would require an investment of nearly Rs 100 crore to set up a college with the project likely to breakeven only after a decade

Narayana Hrudayalaya CEO M Radhakrishna said that along with the scope for revenue generation medical colleges also serve a very social purpose of creating more doctors

There are 36 medical colleges in the state including 22 private ones It turns out that former chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy had imposed a ban on new medical colleges which was only lifted last year after pressure from various quarters

That that should have happened is not surprising considering it is not just the corporate hospitals but also politicians real estate and liquor barons who have discovered in medical colleges a likely investment avenue Thus Nirmal MLA Maheshwar Reddy Serilingampally MLA Bhikshapathy Yadav and Kurnool MLC SV Mohan Reddy are learnt to have shown an interest in being part of the drive to open private medical colleges

But observers are worried at how almost half these applicants are for projects that are limited to Hyderabad Rangareddy and Medak It will serve no purpose for the colleges to be restricted within a small circumference They should be distributed across the state said the former director of medical education Dr AY Chary

Chary said that although 1012 medical colleges have come up in the city and surrounding districts there is still a huge shortage of doctors He also called for proper infrastructure and a good patient base for these proposed medical colleges to bear fruit

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Starting a medical college should not be superfluous The attitude that land and money are enough to start a college is not the right one Chary said

However Dr Vasanth Prasad the present director of medical education said that NOCs were being issued only after a meticulous selection process Of the 20 inspections conducted this year just one hospital in Kurnool was deemed suitable for clearance

He estimated that as per the demand there is need for another 1020 medical colleges in the state

Date : 28 Apr, 2012
Reference : http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-04-28/hyderabad/31451638_1_medical-colleges-medical

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