Linking Govt Hospitals with Pvt. Med colleges: NITI Aayog

If a recent model of NITI Ayog comes to reality, many government district hospitals in the country will get upgraded into Medical colleges with public private partnership (PPP).

NITI Aayog
NITI Aayog

Linking Govt Hospitals with Pvt. Med colleges: NITI Aayog

Nagpur: If a recent model of NITI Ayog comes to reality, many government district hospitals in the country will get upgraded into Medical colleges with public private partnership (PPP).

To deal with shortage of doctors in country, NITI Aayog has come up with a plan under which private players will design, build, finance, operate and maintain the medical college with a minimum annual student intake of 150 MBBS seats and also upgrade, operate and maintain the associated district hospital.

This 250-page document on “Scheme to link new and/or existing private medical colleges with functional district hospitals through PPP” was released for feedback from stakeholders recently.

Also read: NITI Aayog consults stakeholders on medical devices bill

A meeting of stakeholders in this regard has been called on January 21 in New Delhi. Meanwhile, experts from medical education and health services gave mixed reactions on the plan.

What is the plan

As per the plan, the district hospital should have at least 750 beds. Of these, at least 300 beds plus 20% of the remaining beds will be reserved for free patients and termed Regulated Beds.

Treatment will be provided free of cost on these beds. The private player will be allowed to charge for the remaining beds.

For example, if the total number of beds in district hospital are 900, then 300 beds plus 20% of the remaining 600 beds will be regulated.

Also read: Consultation on Medical Devices at NITI Aayog

This number comes to 420. Other 480 beds will be considered as market beds. The private player operating hospital and medical college will get revenue from market beds.

Health activists are sceptical of the plan. “This is leading towards privatization of healthcare services.

Government hospitals are still only ray of hope for poor patients coming from peripheries to district hospitals.

Giving 40% of seats to private operators at market rates will promote discrimination,” said health activist Mohan Karemore from Nagpur.

Dr Pradeep Chaudari, a retired medical officer from district hospital in Amravati, said government should pump more money into healthcare instead of promoting privatization. “In Jalgaon, district hospital was developed as a medical college and it’s running successfully with all government funds.

Involvement of private players in government health set up is dangerous,” he said.

Academicians, however, welcomed the proposal initially. “India needs more doctors and for that we need medical colleges.

Also read: Niti Aayog has not rejected proposal to bring medical devices under CDSCO

In fact, similar PPP arrangements are operative in Gujarat and Karnataka successfully.

If Maharashtra wants more medical colleges, this plan should get approval at national level,” said a senior member of academic council of Maharashtra University of Health Sciences.

NITI Ayog says

  • India has a dire shortage of qualified doctors
  • It is not possible for Governments to bridge the gap with their limited resources
  • This necessitates formulating a public-private partnership (“PPP”) model
  • Linking private medical colleges with district hospitals will augment medical seats and rationalize cost of medical education
  • Stakeholders are requested to provide comments before January 10, 2020

Also read: India’s health system confronted with many challenges: NITI Aayog