The government has voiced concern over the delayed progress in setting up of medical colleges in the country with only five of the proposed 58 colleges coming up in the last three years.
In a recent meeting, the Union Health Ministry has directed 19 states and a Union territory, where these medical colleges will come up, to expedite the work.
The Centre had in 2014 announced its plans to set up 58 government medical colleges in states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha and Bihar by December 2018.
“These 58 colleges are being set up in northern and northeastern states which have inadequate number of government medical colleges despite some of the states being densely populated.
“There are only 16 government medical colleges in a geographically large state like Uttar Pradesh while states like Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh have only eight and six colleges, respectively,” a health ministry official said.
Northeastern states of Manipur, Meghalaya, Sikkim and Tripura have 2, 1, 1 and 2 government medical colleges, respectively.
“It is a matter of concern that only five of the planned 58 medical colleges have come up so far. Of these, two are in Chhattisgarh and one each in Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands,” the official said.
The Centre has already released Rs 1,500 crore fund of the total allocation of Rs 7,500 crore.
“The ministry reviewed the progress of construction of the colleges in a meeting held last month. In around 10-12 cases, the ground work has not yet started while construction of around 30 medical institutes are in different phases,” the official said.
According to the official, southern states have more government medical colleges than northern parts of India, with Tamil Nadu topping the list with 24 medical colleges, followed by Karnataka 18, Andhra Pradesh 12 and Kerala nine colleges.
Maharashtra has 22 medical colleges.