From Our Correspondent
SHILLONG : Uncertainty continues over MCI
recognition to the MBBS course in NEIGRHIMS as the Union
Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Ghulam Nabi Azad,
kept mum on the issue during his visit to the city here
on April 2.
The first batch of MBBS students at NEIGHRIMS has
already completed the course but their degree is yet to
Addressing reporters soon after delivering the first
oration lecture in memory of late Prime Minister Indira
Gandhi at NEIGRHIMS here Azad said that the MCI
recognition for the MBBS course in NEIGRHIMS would be
obtained in due course of time. He , however,
failed to specify a deadline for the MCI recognition.
He said the MCI has separate criteria and guidelines
for recognition of MBBS courses depending on the number
of seats. The criteria for MBBS courses in institutions
having 50 seats would be different from those having 100
seats or more, he added.
“With the infrastructure present in NEIGRHIMS, I am sure
there would not be a problem in getting the MCI
recognition for the MBBS course which the Institute is
offering,” he said.
The Minister, however, said that the top priority for
the Institute is to get the full strength of faculties
to live to its tag of being a ‘centre of excellence’.
“This problem of shortage of faculties has been
lingering for the past many years. The basic reason for
which doctors do not want to come to NEIGRHIMS is that
it is situated in a far off place,” Azad said.
Stating that one of the major factors is the
transportation problem which is preventing doctors to
come to work in NEIGRHIMS, he said that the Government
is coming up with the four-lane Shillong-Guwahati
highway to improve the travelling experience.
He also said that the Government is trying to
improve aerial transportation with the expansion of the
Umroi Airport. “As the expansion of the Airport would
take more time, the Union Ministry has taken some major
decisions to encourage doctors to work in NEIGRHIMS,”
Azad said, adding that his Ministry has taken a call to
provide packages and salaries for the doctors in
NEIGRHIMS at par with that of AIIMS.
“We have also decided to extend the retirement age
equivalent with that of AIIMS from 60 to 65 years,” Azad
Informing that in the recent recruitment drive they
have received around 200 applications from doctors
across the country, Azad said that only 29 doctors were
recruited for 69 vacant posts.
He also informed that the Centre has sanctioned Rs
280 crore for setting up of a Medical College, Nursing
College and Regional Cancer Institute at NEIGRIHMS.
“The institute was originally conceptualized with
only post graduate classes and no undergraduate course.
But later it was thought that MBBS and Nursing courses
should be also introduced in order to cater to the needs
of the Northeast region,” Azad said. Azad also informed
that a total amount of Rs 500 crore has been allocated
to the Institute in the past four years.
He further informed that 72 new medical colleges
have come up in the country in the past four years and
between 22 and 30 new colleges will come up in the
According to Azad, by June this year, the MBBS seats
will increase from 33,000 to around 45,000 seats and the
number of post graduate medical seats will rise from
13,000 to 22,000.
“Creation of infrastructure in the health sector is
not a problem but the main difficulty we are facing is
the lack of doctors and faculty to teach in medical
colleges and nursing schools. Unless we have doctors, we
will not be able to provide health care even if we have
the infrastructure,” Azad asserted.
Earlier, the Union Health Minister in the presence
of Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma, former Union Minister
of State Vincent H Pala and State Health Minister AL Hek
unveiled the statute of former Prime Minister late
Indira Gandhi on the NEIGRHIMS premises.