The Mamata Banerjee government on Friday announced a slew of measures to set right the state’s ailing health sector including setting up of five new medical colleges and seven nursing institutes.
These would push up the number of medical colleges in Bengal run by the government to 22.
These 12 new colleges and institutes will entail an expenditure of Rs 1,150 crore, said health secretary R S Shukla.
To meet the acute shortage of doctors in the state, the government has also come up with yet another plan. It has decided to raise the retirement age of teaching doctors to 70 years from the existing 65. All other government doctors would now retire at 68, up from the present 65 years.
And here’s another bonus: private practitioners would be invited to serve in government hospitals on some days of the week for a handsome fee.
The Bengal health department is short of at least 4,000 doctors and around 6,000 nurses.
“The five new medical colleges will come up at Cooch Behar, Raigunj, Rampurhat, Purulia and Diamond Harbour. The nursing institutes would be located at Ghatal, Barasat, Basirhat, Jangipur, Jhargram, Uluberia and Kamarhati,” the health secretary told the media at the state secretariat.
“The five medical colleges would require over Rs 1,000 crore, while the outlay for the nursing colleges has been pegged at Rs 150 crore.”
The state government will soon write to the Centre, requesting for relaxation of infrastructure norms for these new colleges.