Mumbai: Medical college at St George’s Hospital
With the rise in Covid-19 cases in the state and the increasing need for trained medical professionals, the state medical education department is all set to start a new medical college on the premises of St George’s Hospital at CST. The Hospital is a part of JJ group of hospitals which runs Cama and Albless Hospital, and GT Hospital.
Medical Education Minister Amit Deshmukh told The Indian Express: “We plan to have a new hospital soon and have asked the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) to submit a plan in the regard. Mostly, it will be on the premises of St George, but if resources are scarce, we will add 150 seats in JJ Hospital itself. Mumbai, and Maharashtra, needs more doctors. To start with, we will have 150 seats for MBBS per year.”
At present, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has four medical colleges located at Nair, KEM, Cooper and Sion hospitals with a capacity of approximately 850 MBBS seats. Besides, the state medical education department runs the JJ Hospital which has 250 MBBS seats.
A state government officer said that the government wished to have a separate building for the medical college in St George’s Hospital compound, but if the state has to face fourth and fifth wave, then there will be no money left to construct a new building and thus, the new college will have to be set up on JJ Hospital campus itself. The post graduate courses will start at a later stage, the officer said.
The DMER has begun drafting a plan in the regard. Its director Tatyasaheb Lahane said, “Both the St George’s Hospital and the GT Hospital have 1000 beds and this is enough for us to start a new medical college. A new hospital will cost us Rs 500 crore approximately.’’
Apart from construction of a new building, the state will also have to bring in more equipment for the new hospital like a good radiology unit with CT scans and MRIs, along with all the departments.
Medical Education department secretary Saurabh Vijay said the government plans to increase the number of post graduate seats in medicine from the current 1,500 to 3,000 seats by 2024.
On the feasibility of a whole new medical college, a former IAS officer who worked in the medical education department said, “A new medical college is easily possible. They will just have to increase nursing staff and construct new hostels. St George’s has ample space.’’
The medical education department had plans for construction of a super-speciality hospital in JJ Hospital with 1200 beds at a cost of Rs 1200 crore but that plan is still on hold, the former IAS officer added.