In 2011, the state-run BJ Medical College had been promised a total of Rs 39 crore as part of the Post-Graduate (PG) upgrade programme. Till now, the college has got only Rs 13.4 crore and Rs 1.6 crore from the Centre and the state, respectively.
With the state now making a budgetary provision of Rs 20 crore for upgrading several PG medical course programmes, the BJ Medical College authorities welcomed the move and said there was a need to keep up with the times and provide modern instruments and equipment.
The upgrade of post-graduation medical course programme has been undertaken at the government medical colleges of Pune, Aurangabad, Akola, Ambejogai, Solapur, Miraj, Sangli, Dhule, Yavatmal, Latur and Nagpur.
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On Wednesday, while presenting the first budget of the BJP-led government in Maharashtra, Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said the upgrade was being done by providing the medical colleges with additional facilities. “An outlay of Rs 20 crore is proposed in 2015-16,” he announced.
Dr Sameer Joshi, Deputy Dean (PG), at BJ Medical College and Sassoon General Hospital, said an ambitious country-wide programme for upgrade of PG programmes had been undertaken in 2011 with the Centre promising 75 per cent of the grants and the remaining by each state government. “We have already purchased hi-tech instruments as they are the need of the hour and have introduced two new super-specialties — plastic and cardio-thoracic surgery,” Joshi said.
From 107 PG seats at BJ Medical College in 2011, the intake has been increased over the years to a total of 143 seats. There are 19 departments that conduct the PG programme. “We require better instruments like a bronchoscope, paediatric laparoscope and others,” Joshi said, adding that laboratories were also being upgraded.
The college has applied to the Medical Council of India for approving another super-specialty in neurosurgery, while they also plan ones in paediatric and uro surgery departments.
Tax waiver on cancer drugs hailed
The decision to waive taxes on cancer drugs has been hailed as a right move by the medical fraternity in Pune. Dr Vijay Ramanan, haematologist at Ruby Hall Clinic, said the tax reduction was the right move as patients with cancer were already burdened by the disease and its complications. “This will make it possible for the needy to access chemotherapy,” he said. Ramanan also urged that the government should stop service tax on preventive health care packages. Welcoming the move, Dr Vinita Deshmukh, Deputy Director, Integrated Cancer Treatment and Research Centre, Ayurved Hospital, said the government should also reimburse the cost of Ayurvedic treatment for cancer under their various policies like CGHS, Rajiv Gandhi Jeevandayi Yojana, state government empanelment and insurance policies.