Hyderabad: In addition to focusing on clinical services, the State government in the last few years had given special importance to medical education. The emphasis has been on adding more MBBS and Post-Graduate medical seats, opening and building more medical colleges, and last but not the least, plugging gaps in manpower and infrastructure capabilities, which are vital for getting recognition from Medical Council of India (MCI).
And the results are all there to see! In the last few years, the medical education department has added new medical colleges at Nalgonda, Suryapet, and Mahabubnagar with 150 medical seats each. In fact, a few months ago, the brand new building of Government Medical College, Mahabubnagar was inaugurated by MA&UD Minister KT Rama Rao.
Despite being a quasi-state health care institution, the Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) received a healthy flow of financial resources from the State government, which ensured the medical infrastructure and manpower were updated and led to more super-speciality seats.
In last four years, NIMS recruited 69 senior faculty staff in the posts of Assistant Professors and Associate Professors and also provided promotions to 66 senior doctors in the cadres of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and Additional professor under Assessment Promotion Scheme.
The steady recruitment and promotion of faculty have enabled NIMS to add more Post-Graduate broad speciality seats. From 82 in the year 2015, the number of PG medical seats went up to 134. At present, the NIMS has 54 super speciality seats which is the highest number of speciality seats compared to any medical college in India.
New teaching hospitals
In the last academic year, two new medical colleges at Nalgonda and Suryapet started offering medical courses while several more are in the pipeline from the next academic year. For this academic year, the Mahabubnagar Government Hospital also received a renewal of permission for its existing 150 MBBS medical seats.
Apart from the existing teaching hospitals, the State government plans to add at least seven more medical colleges in the coming years, especially in the newly formed districts. As per the proposals, the health wing is preparing to set up medical colleges in Khammam, Karimnagar, Sangareddy, Mancherial, Bhadrachalam, Bhupalpally, either Tandur or Vikarabad.
“From the initial days of statehood, the Chief Minister was very keen on ensuring that Telangana has more medical colleges. Medical colleges have to be established in the newly formed districts, including in the neighbouring districts of Hyderabad,” says Health Minister Eatala Rajender. After receiving permissions to start two new medical colleges in Nalgonda and Suryapet, the number of government MBBS seats in the State has shot up to 1,550 from 700 seats five years back.
Osmania, Gandhi improve rankings
Last year, Gandhi Medical College (GMC) and Osmania Medical College (OMC) found a spot in the India Today rankings for best medical colleges. The GMC improved its raking from 20 to 16 while the OMC was ranked 21. The total number of medical colleges in India is nearly 503 out of which the government-run teaching hospitals are 244. At present, the total number of MBBS seats at Gandhi Medical College is 200, Post-Graduate seats are 164 and super-speciality seats are 22.
At OMC, the MBBS seats are 250, PG seats are 367 and super speciality seats are 56.
‘TS made tremendous progress in infra development’
In the last few years, Telangana has made tremendous progress in the field of medical education, says Director of Medical Education (DME) Dr K Ramesh Reddy. Be it infrastructure development like establishing ICUs and high-end laboratories in teaching hospitals or increasing PG medical seats, the medical education sector has made a lot of progress in the State, he points out.
On recognition for Osmania and Gandhi:
Last year was a proud moment for medical education in Telangana as the State-run Gandhi Medical College and Osmania Medical College got ranked in the India Today rankings for best medical colleges. To encourage research, we also have introduced MERIT scheme to fund research projects by faculty and students.
This is for the first time that we have also started offering PG seats in newly established medical colleges. Usually, we wait for medical colleges to get established and function for a few years before applying for PG seats. However, in the last six years, we have received permission to start nearly 450 PG seats across all the teaching hospitals. That’s the reason why we have been able to start offering PG courses along with UG courses in the newly established medical colleges.
There has been phenomenal investment in infrastructure across all the medical colleges in the State. In fact, at least six new ICUs with 20 beds each have been set up. At Gandhi Hospital, the entre casualty wing was modified and it is the largest ICU facility in the State with 62-beds. At present, these ICU facilities are being utilised for Covid patients but in the coming months and years, they will be available for non-Covid patients also.
On new medical colleges:
Apart from establishing new medical colleges at Siddipet, Suryapet, Nizamabad and Mahabubnagar, the State government also played a major role in establishing ESI teaching hospital at Sanathnagar and AIIMS at Bibinagar. Usually, it takes more than half a decade to establish AIIMS. However, it was only because of the State Government’s positive attitude, we were able to covert the NIMS Bibinagar facility into AIIMS Bibinagar and start classes within a year.