The Hills of Darjeeling is set to get its first medical and nursing college under a public-private partnership model. As per the proposal of the state government,the new medical college will be in Kurseong.
State Health Department spokesperson Asit Biswas said a team comprising top state health officials,under the chairmanship of the director of medical education,is preparing a project report for setting up the college.
Another team comprising principal of North Bengal Medical College and Hospital (NBMCH),Anup Roy, Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council administrator,Anil Verma,and other health officials had visited the SB Dey TB Sanatorium in Kurseong a few days ago and submitted its report for the project.
Senior health officials said the state government will apply to the Medical Council of India (MCI) this year and simultaneously select a private partner to set up the medical college by 2013.
According to the proposal,the private partner will have to invest Rs 400 crore. The government will allow the private partner to fill up 50 per cent of the seats by charging capitation fee from the students.
At present,the sanatorium has 200 beds (50 beds for women),and according to the norms of the MCI,at least 200 beds are required for 50 students at the time of its inception and 400 beds are required after it gives permission.
Health officials,however,feel that they are still apprehensive about the outcome of the project as most of the private partners are reluctant to join hands with the government to set up any projects.
Already the government is awaiting approval from MCI over launching the second-year programme in the medical colleges at Malda,Murshidabad and Sagardutta Medical College in North 24-Parganas.