On 2nd January the government cleared a proposal to set up 58 new medical colleges in states with central assistance as well as an upgrade of district hospitals. With the establishment of these new medical colleges, the number of MBBS seats is set to increase by 5,800. Finance Minister P. Chidambaram stated, "The government has given the approval for establishing 58 new medical colleges by upgrading the existing district hospitals in deficient states with an intake capacity of 100 MBBS seats in each medical college."
The decision has been taken in order to deal with the issue of shortage of doctors. The move is aimed at increasing the number of doctors and also elevating the doctor-patient ratio by increasing the number of MBBS seats available across the country. Under the scheme, the central assistance share will be of Rs. 8,457.4 crore and state or Union Territory share would be Rs. 2,513.7 crore. The funding pattern will be 90:10 by the Central and State governments respectively for the north-eastern states and special category states, and in the ratio of 75:25 for the others. The estimated total cost of establishment of one medical college is about Rs.189 crore. At present, there are a total of 381 medical colleges in the country with 49,918 MBBS seats registered with the Medical Council of India, the apex medical regulator.