63 line up to start med colleges

Prominent corporate hospitals are in the fray and are lobbying hard to obtain essentiality certificates which enable them to seek inspection from the Medical Council of India.
The notification issued by the state government inviting applications to set up new medical colleges in the state has evoked a good response.

In all, the government received 63 applications, of which 40 institutions have applied to set up new medical colleges in and around Hyderabad.

Prominent corporate hospital groups such as KIMS, Global, Care, Yashoda, etc.
have submitted applications to set up medical colleges in Hyderabad.

With the government issuing `essentiality certificates' (ECs) to three new medical colleges recently to set up medical colleges after a gap of six years, the new applicants are lobbying hard with the government to secure ECs, which enable them to seek inspection from Medical Council of India, to secure final approval.

The government has issued notification on May 18 for the purpose and given a deadline of June 18 to submit application.

The date was later extended the due date to July 16.

However, the government norm that the applicants should have a hospital functioning for more than five years and with more than 300 beds has turned controversial.

Some applicants challenged this norm in the Andhra Pradesh High Court arguing that it was `unwarranted' since the MCI has not specified any time frame for running hospitals and only specified that the applications should have a 300bed hospital.

The case is now pending with the AP High Court.

According to officials of medical education department, the government can not issue ECs to new applicants at this stage since the case is pending in the court.

The government has constituted a high-power committee under the chairmanship of Justice I. Panduranga Rao, a retired judge of the AP High Court to make recommendations for grant of ECs for establishment of new medical colleges in the state.

With the term of Justice Rao having expired last week, the state government has issued fresh orders extending his term by a year.

The committee is expected to issue ECs only after the AP High Court delivers its verdict on making it mandatory for institutions to have a hospital functioning for more than 5 years.
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