The city is likely to receive a boost in the number of medical seats with the civic-run Dr R N Cooper Hospital set for inspection in the next few days by the Medical Council of India (MCI), the body that regulates medical education and medical practice in the country. The upsurge in the medical seats will plug shortage of MBBS doctors, currently plaguing civic-run hospitals, to a great extent.
MCI’s approval for a new civic-run medical college will not only increase the total number of medical seats from 350 to 500, but will also provide aspiring medical students with the only suburban medical college in the city at Vile Parle. Currently, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has four medical colleges, Nair Hospital Dental college, Topiwala National Medical college, KEM Seth GS Medical College and Lokmanya Tilak Municipal Medical College, all located in the city.
Additionally the four state-run hospitals are also situated in the island city. The approval of Cooper Hospital as a medical college will cater to aspiring medical students in suburban areas.
“We had first applied for 100 medical seats, but the MUHS asked us to increase it to 150. Now with all paperwork done, we can expect an inspection by MCI anytime. They will check whether the infrastructure and facilities are good enough for setting up a medical college,” said BMC’s additional municipal commissioner Sanjay Deshmukh.
According to the MCI guidelines, minimum requirement for a hospital to start a medical college includes a “built-up area of not less than 10 acres” along with at least 800 beds. The civic-body will be clubbing 580 beds of redeveloped Cooper hospital with 304 beds of newly commissioned Jogeshwari Trauma Hospital. Dr M Wadiwala, head of peripheral hospitals in BMC, said, “We have a land of about 13 acres and close to 900 beds combining both hospitals. So the requirements have been complied with.” The proposal for the medical college was first floated in 2008 with an estimated budget of Rs 10 crore. The project has already witnessed a six-year-long delay.