NAGAON, Sept 1: As the academic sessions of three new medical colleges in Assam began on Friday, chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said these new institutions will lead to greater availability of doctors at government hospitals, which will boost the overall healthcare system of the state.
He said the new colleges will be turned into hubs of medical education with nursing, dental and other courses being introduced in a phased manner.
“Assam will soon become the country’s hub for medical education. We are on our way to have 2,000 MBBS seats and over 1,000 PG seats. Three newly built medical colleges have begun their academic sessions simultaneously. I joined the oath taking ceremony in Nagaon,” Sarma posted on X.
Addressing the students at Nagaon, Sarma said the number of MBBS seats in the state’s medical colleges is now 1,500 while post-graduate (PG) seats are 722.
“With the increase in the MBBS seats, it also means that we will have more doctors passing out every year and they will be posted in government hospitals in rural areas. It will boost the overall healthcare system of the state,” he said.
Sarma said that while the state got three medical colleges in the first 50-60 years since Independence, five came into being in the last decade and four have already started functioning since 2021.
Work for nine more is in different phases of completion, he added.
“The state now has 12 medical colleges. We are working to increase the PG seats to 1,000 in the next two-three years so that the ratio of MBBS and PG seats becomes 1:1.5, which very few states have achieved,” the chief minister said.
The state is emerging as a top medical education hub in the country as the new medical colleges will also have nursing and dental colleges on the campus, he said.
Sarma urged the students to accept the opportunity of becoming doctors with a sense of gratitude along with pride in their own merit.
“Synergy between spirituality and materialism is needed to progress in life. Getting admission into a medical college is viewed as getting a new life and I urge the students to serve the people with sincerity,” he said.
State health minister Keshab Mahanta attended the oath-taking ceremony in Kokrajhar, while tourism minister Jayanta Mallabaruah was present at the function in Nalbari.
The chief minister acknowledged the visionary efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has been instrumental in enhancing medical education across India.
CM Sarma shared a remarkable statistic: Until 2014, there were 387 medical colleges and hospitals in the country, but during PM Modi’s nine-year tenure, this number surged to 596.
This expansion has opened doors for over 90,000 aspiring medical students to pursue their dreams of becoming healthcare professionals, a significant increase from the 51,000 students who could secure seats in medical colleges before 2014.
The event was attended by several local dignitaries, including MLA Rupak Sarma, Barhampur BJP MLA Jitu Goswami, Raha MLA Sashi Kanta Das, commissioner secretary to the Medical Education and Research Department Dr Siddharth Singh, district commissioner of Nagaon Narendra Kr Shah, Dr Mihir Kanta Goswami (Principal of Nagaon Medical College and Hospital), executive director of National Health Mission Manoj Chaudhary, and superintendent engineer P Barman. (With inputs from PTI)