SHILLONG, Aug 25: Meghalaya government approved the
setting up of three medical colleges of which two are
government and one private, with a capacity intake of 140 to
340 seats within the next 2-5 years.
The major decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting chaired by
chief minister Conrad K Sangma.
Addressing the media, health & family welfare minister
Ampareen Lyngdoh said, “We have finalized the roadmap for
the immediate setting up of three medical colleges in the State
of Meghalaya. We will have one in Shillong, one in Tura and one
in Ri Bhoi district.”
“We will immediately start the process. We may have in the
next 2-5 years, at least 140 good seats for the State of
Meghalaya. This will increase proportionately every time. We
are looking at a target of 240 or maybe 340 seats,” she added.
Principal secretary in-charge health & family welfare, Sampath
Kumar said out of the three proposed medical colleges, one is
already in the pipeline. The construction of the Tura Medical
College is going on.
“The Tura medical college (however is facing) the challenges
related to faculty. The Cabinet has asked the department to
explore how actually that can be run using PPP mode by
identifying reputed medical institutions to help in terms of
operationalizing the college,” he said.
For setting up of the Shillong medical college, Kumar said the
government has decided to leverage on the existing resources
and infrastructures like the Shillong Civil Hospital, Ganesh Das
Hospital and by leveraging the human resources, especially the
specialist doctors, who can become potential faculty of the
Shillong medical college.
“A committee has been constituted in this regard and based on
that the proposal has been made for setting up the Shillong
Medical College within the next 2-3 years. We will start with 50
seats in Shillong and over a period of time, once we bring our
own faculty that will be upgraded to 100 seats” he said.
Further, Kumar said that the setting up of a private medical
college has been proposed by the University of Science &
Technology, Meghalaya (USTM), which has requested for
financial assistance in the form of a repayable loan to the tune
of Rs 230 crore.
“That has been considered to go on a switch challenge mode,
which is a unique proposal. Once we examine the entire
proposal, we will put it in the public domain and ask everybody
if there are any other better proposals that are there then
accordingly the government will take a decision,” he said.
He also informed that “USTM have offered about 40 seats free
and concessional seats and also about 25 PG seats. It is a very
good offer they have given to us.”
The principal secretary said that Rs 247 crore was sanctioned
for the construction of the Tura Medical College and the
Central government is also funding Rs 180 crore for the project.
“Whereas, the Shillong medical college, since we already have
existing infrastructure and around 550 beds are there besides
having existing faculty that are going to be trained in the next
2-3 years to become the faculty – the projected cost would be
around Rs 114 crore,” he added.
He said that the government is planning to execute the decision
in a mission mode to ensure the medical colleges are set up
within 24 to 36 months.
Kumar said, “For Tura medical seat, since we don’t have
enough faculty there, we have to look for partnership because
to run a 100 seats medical college you require 106 faculty
members whereas Shillong medical college, there is already
faculty to start with 50 seats and in the years to come, once we
get our own faculty members, more and more doctors will get
specialization, Shillong will also become 100 seats.”
Earlier, the health minister has also informed that the State
government is also negotiating with the Government of India
not to stop allotting medical seats to Meghalaya. (NNN)