Make medical edu more affordable
Just giving approval for 16 medical colleges will not make the state a medical hub until the government focuses on making medical education affordable for everyone. In Punjab, sky-high medical fee is a cause for concern. Students study hard to clear National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (Undergraduate) and pay hefty fee to coaching institutes too. In other states, such as Rajasthan, fee is very nominal. In few colleges, girl students are even exempted from paying fee. Simply laying the foundation stone of colleges won’t serve the purpose as buildings without enough faculty and infrastructure won’t make the state a medical education hub. Education should be made affordable for children belonging to weaker sections of society too.
Reducing the requirements for starting a college and encouraging them to leverage economies of scale will make medical education more accessible. Tribune Photo
Will provide educational stability
In order to make the state a world-class medical education hub, the approval to the construction of 16 more medical colleges across the state by CM Bhagwant Mann is a relevant decision. Being a medical student myself, in Class XI, I will be thankful to the CM for encouraging medical education. Around 85 per cent students have opted for medical stream and since the evolution of the state depends on the youth, the establishment of a medical hub would be a great help. A medical hub should be able to provide with enough tutelage and pedagogy in various medical courses to provide students with a flexible base and enabling them to find well paid jobs that would provide the state with a lot of educational stability and would also enable the state to flourish. The state could also be put on the global map of medical education with time.
Step will boost medical tourism
For promoting health and education sectors, the state government has taken a crucial decision of constructing 16 medical colleges in the state. With the government laying focus on these sectors, there will be an end to the problem of brain drain as talented youth of our country is continuously going abroad for higher studies due to lack of better education facilities here. Similarly, it will reduce the problem of economic issues being faced by people. Recently, in an MBBS college with 65 seats, only five were occupied. This shows that it can be due to lack of education facilities and high fee structure. With the construction of more medical colleges, it will help make our state a medical hub. The government must also focus on making medical education affordable for all sections of society. Good infrastructure will promote medical tourism in the state. If the state government provides institutes with better facilities, then it will be a benefit for the youth too as they will get quality education and better job opportunities in their home state.
Move welcome, but need for better services
The CM’s decision will certainly put the state on the global map of medical education. This is because the state will soon have 16 new medical colleges. But this alone will not help as these colleges will have to provide better patient care services than existing medical colleges in the state
Hire top faculty, make education affordable
The decision of opening new medical colleges in the state by the Punjab Government is a welcome step. But only opening new medical colleges alone could not make Punjab a medical education hub on the global map. If this is to be achieved, many factors need to be taken into consideration. First and foremost is to recruit the best teacher. Another factor that should be looked into is the fees structure, as medical education has become unaffordable for economically weaker sections. For this, the Punjab Government can approach philanthropists and NGO’s that can help deserving students, who wish to pursue medical education apart doing its bit.
Dr SK Singh
Big relief for medical aspirants
The decision of setting up 16 more medical colleges in Punjab will help turn the state into a hub of medical education, which will result in a lower cut-off in NEET. This would help more students get the opportunity. The decision comes as a big relief for the aspirants. The step would also help generate employment in the state. This would help students pursue their dream of becoming doctors without having to spend lakhs of rupees by going abroad they will get admission in lower fee
Move will help create employment
No doubt that Punjab will soon become a hub of medical education. We already have nine medical colleges in the Punjab state. The AAP-led Punjab Government has gave its nod to the construction of 16 new medical colleges; five of these colleges will be constructed soon, and others will be made within five years. There are 23 districts in the state, and nearly each district will have one medical college. As Punjab will grow economically, job opportunities will also increase.
Pvt practice by govt docs a problem
I welcome Bhagwant Mann’s approval for the construction of 16 more medical colleges across Punjab. I look back with a feeling of nostalgia at the glory of institutions like Amritsar Medical College and its associate Victoria Jubilee Hospital (VJ Hospital), which was constructed in 1887 to commemorate Empress Victoria’s golden jubilee of ascension to the British throne. In 1970, on the eve of the tricentenary of Guru Teg Bahadur’s martyrdom, the hospital was rechristened after his name, but then abandoned the following year after all the wards and laboratories were shifted to new, more commodious premises of Guru Nanak Dev Hospital. New primary health dispensaries started coming up in the country side and free health services became available to all. However, a slow and imperceptible decline was taking roots in the system. Private hospitals mushroomed, thanks to those who were not happy with frequent transfers in government service and a lack of freedom to work. Private practice by government doctors became a problem. And now we see state-owned hospitals without an adequate number of doctors. A paucity of medicines is a corollary of the problem. Strangely, the number of medical colleges did not significantly grow in the state. Successive corrupt governments raised nothing but structures, with no consideration for their functioning or administration. No wonder what was once the No. 1 state in India is now lagging far behind even the adjoining state, Haryana. Whether or not students from outside the state would choose to study in Punjab depends upon what the state government would deliver.
Prof Mohan Singh
Availability of funds key for success
Although Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann has given approval for 16 more new medical colleges in Punjab, the big question is: Will the Centre dispatch funds to a particular ratio for the construction of these colleges? The availability of funds is central to the massive infrastructure required for the 16 medical colleges. Punjab already has the maximum number of hospitals in the country, with the construction of new medical colleges, the state will certainly be on the global map of medical education. Most Doctors after completing their MBBS or MD go abroad for a better future. Therefore, the Punjab Government should first issue notification that the student who clears his MBBS/MD from any government college will have to serve the People of State for minimum of Seven Years before going abroad. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already taken up the issue of medical colleges seriously and the Union Government has a number of medical colleges in the pipeline or are under construction in many states. India’s rapidly growing population needs a medical college in every district of the country for giving medical facilities to every person of the country.
Rajat Kumar Mohindru
Brain drain will stop to great extent
In a major boost to medical education in the state, the Punjab Government’s decision is laudable. As claimed by the government, Punjab will emerge as a hub for medical education in the world with this ambitious initiative. If this happens, the state’s major problem of brain drain will be solved. A large number of Punjabi youths aspire to go to foreign countries for medical education. This will save parents from incurring financial burden of huge bank loans and the accompanying mental tension. It will also attract students from other states and from abroad as well that will increase the state revenue. Moreover, these upcoming medical colleges will create ample job opportunities and provide proper medical care to the less privileged. But for making all this possible, the authorities will have to ensure affordable quality education. Unlike before, they have to build adequate infrastructure, including fully qualified and trained teaching faculty, nurses and other paramedical staff, and sufficient medicines. Besides this, the government should also keep a watch on the various unlawful practices the private medical colleges and hospitals indulge in with impunity.
Exodus of students abroad will stop
As per the government’s plan for making the state a medical education hub, Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji Institute of Medical Sciences, Kapurthala, and Shaheed Udham Singh Medical College, Hoshiarpur, will be state-of-the-art medical institutes, having multi-speciality hospitals. As of now, due to stiff competition and expensive medical education with fewer medical seats available in the state, a large number of aspirants from the region explore the opportunities in other states or in countries like Ukraine, Russia, etc. Effluent ones move to the US, the UK and Canada. With such trends, the exodus of ambitious students and money has both registered a substantial increase over the years. In the ongoing Ukraine-Russia conflict, many medical colleges have been destroyed, accentuating the woes of students in these countries. The future of several medicos is bleak as there are no prospective plans to absorb them in local institutes to complete remaining part of their studies. Obviously, the medical education despite huge demand has not got the required fillip. As a result, our domestic health services continue to suffer with deficient manpower. We find most of our rural areas still devoid of required healthcare facilities. In the digital age, there is a dire need to provide world-class equipment and quality medical education to our students. Apart from improving environment at basic community healthcare centres, existing hospitals need to be upgraded and equipped with advanced facilities so that the quality of life of citizens is improved. More medical institutes have to be developed for which the present initiative of the government is a step forward in the right direction.
Nirmaljit Singh Chatrath
People will get latest treatment in state
Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has rightly decided to construct new medical colleges. In the past many years, we have seen a large number of students going to different countries, primarily Ukraine, China and Australia, to study medicine, which not only deprives the county of talent, but also puts financial burden on parents. These students on their return have to again qualify the test of the Medical Council of India to become eligible to practise in India. Besides, other youngsters are heading to foreign shores for better opportunities. In light of the abovementioned facts, the Chief Minister’s decision is welcome. By making Punjab a hub of medical education, Punjabis can hope to get latest medical treatment in their own state, which will definitely be a commendable feat and a dream-come-true moment for all of us.
Dr JS Wadhwa
Step can open doors for medical tourism
The Punjab Government’s decision to open 16 more medical colleges will definitely help the state becoming a world-class medical education hub, provided the quality of both infrastructure and services are built and maintained as per the international standards. A majority of students from Punjab who wish to pursue a career in medical profession have to leave the state or the country and are vulnerable to compromise with the cost and quality of such education. There requirement of medical professionals and the demand for various health services in the state are always on the higher side. What is needed is adequate and affordable infrastructure in all disciplines of medical education and services. If already a city like Jalandhar can boast of having maximum hospitals numbering more than 800 in Asia, nothing is impossible for the state to achieve any target in medical infrastructure. Since maximum NRIs are from Punjab, the potential of medical tourism can be developed in a larger systematic way. Some hospitals in the state are already providing world-class medical facilities at competitive rates to patients from neighbouring countries.
The Punjab Government claims to have kept a strict check on the menace of corruption with the launch of a helpline and the arrest of several officials and leaders ever since it came to power. Do you agree with the government’s assertion of giving corruption-free governance?
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