New Delhi: Aspiring medical students can now look forward to an expanded medical education sector as 3,595 more MBBS seats have been created this year.
Of these, the Medical Council of India (MCI) has given its approval to 2,400 fresh MBBS seats in 20 new medical colleges and 1,195 additional seats in existing medical colleges across the country, sources said.
These new seats come close on the heels of 300 additional MBBS seats created through six new AIIMS-like institutes in as many states from September this year.
Medical students have also reasons to cheer now, as the MCI has created 1,442 new post-graduate seats, with 1,326 MD/MS seats in various existing medical colleges and another 116 super-speciality seats for DM/MCH.
Among the new medical colleges approved by MCI now, include nine in the government sector and 11 private ones. Among the states in which new medical colleges will come up include Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Gujarat (where the government-run Medical Education and Research Society will set up the medical college).
The MCI last year had created 4,452 fresh MBBS seats in 21 new medical colleges and additional seats in existing medical colleges in the country. The new seats approved by MCI would help correct the existing imbalance in the availability of public health resources, Health Ministry officials said.
With their coming into operation, the overall availability of MBBS seats in India would rise to 45,464 and the number of medical colleges in the country would rise to 355.  As per Health Ministry figures, there were a total of 41,569 MBBS seats in 335 medical colleges across India till date, excluding the new 300 seats in six AIIMS-like Institutes. However, MCI data reveals that there were a total of 40,525 MBBS seats till now (before fresh approval of seats).
The additional seats would boost Health Ministry's commitment to improve the doctor patient ratio in the country from a poor 1:2000 to 1:1000 by 2021. By 2021, the plan is also to take the overall availability of MBBS seats to 80,000 from the present 41,569 and of PG seats to 45,000 from 22,194 seats till now (excluding the new PG seats created). The aim is to tide over doctors' shortage currently pegged at around 8 lakh.
Government data shows that 66 percent of the existing 335 medical colleges and 69 percent of the existing MBBS seats are presently located in Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Goa.
Central India has only 5 percent share each in medical colleges and undergraduate medical seats while eastern India, comprising Bihar and West Bengal, which feature among the five most populous states, have 10 percent of India's medical colleges and just 9 percent MBBS seats
North India with the most populated state Uttar Pradesh is no better with only 17 percent medical colleges and 16 percent of MBBS seats available. The northeast has 3 percent share each in medical colleges and MBBS seats, reflecting the skewed availability of resources.


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