Saturday, September 18, 2010

‘Raise retirement age of government doctors'

To overcome the shortage of medical practitioners, the Medical Council of India (MCI) has recommended enhancing the retirement age of government medical professionals to 70 years from the existing 65 years. It has also suggested relaxations in the land requirement for setting up new medical colleges.

Announcing this at a press conference here on Saturday, S.K. Sarin, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the MCI, said enhancing the retirement age of government medical professionals would help in producing more MBBS doctors and prevent private medical colleges from poaching on experienced and talented teachers.

In another important recommendation made to the Union Health and Family Ministry, the MCI has said that the land requirement for setting up a new medical college should be reduced to 10 acres instead of the present 20 acres in urban areas, but within a 5-km radius. In difficult areas like hilly areas, tribal areas and the North East region, the land can be taken up at two places within a 10-km radius for setting up a hospital and medical colleges so that students are able to visit the patients in the hospital.

The government had earlier relaxed the land norms from 25 acres to 20 acres with permission to take land in two pieces in difficult areas and densely populated cities about a year ago due to non-availability of large chunks of land. Similarly, the retirement age of Central government doctors was also increased to 65 years from 60 years. The Government medical colleges had also been allowed to increase the number of under-graduate seats but without compromising on the quality of education.

The MCI too, has recommended reducing the student bed ratio from 1:8 to 1:5, meaning that a 1,500-bedded hospital could have 250 undergraduate students.

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