Regulate fee in private medical colleges: Plea in Rajya Sabha

A plea was made in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday to regulate the fees of private medical colleges, with Congress leader Jairam Ramesh also calling for an increase in the number of government medical colleges.

Addressing the issue through a zero-hour entry, he said that about 53 percent of all medical institutions in the country are government colleges and the rest are private, whose population has increased in recent years.

The government, he said, passed the NMC Act in 2017 that provided for the National Medical Commission to regulate fees and all other costs for no more than 40 percent seats in private medical colleges.

The Standing Committee changed it to at least 50 percent. But the law passed by parliament in 2019 changed at least 50 percent to 50 percent, he said, highlighting the high fees charged by private medical colleges for seats outside the NMC’s scope.

“We need to increase the number of government medical colleges (and) we need to strictly regulate the fees of all medical institutions, including private ones,” he said.

The rate policy is currently “pay now, learn later,” but it should be “learn now, pay later,” he said.

“There is an acute shortage of doctors and health workers in this country,” he said.

“The belief that private medical education will form the basis of medical education in this country is deeply, deeply flawed and extremely dangerous,” he stressed.

Raising the issue of continuing scavenging in parts of the country, Jaya Bachchan (SP) said a lack of proper rehabilitation is driving scavengers to return to manual scavenging as a profession.

Tiruchi Siva (DMK) associated with the problem and demanded strict action against contractors who used manual scavengers to clean sewers and properly rehabilitate the scavengers.

Narendra Jadhav (Nominated) raised the issue of overcrowded, unsanitary conditions in the homes of widows in Vrindavan and said such homes lack basic amenities.

The prisoners do not have access to social services and are not given property rights because of illiteracy.

He demanded that the government restore widows’ property rights and ensure better implementation of widows’ social security schemes.

V. Vijayasai Reddy raised the issue of the growing tendency to hire teachers on a contract basis, saying that ad hoc appointments alone do not provide service benefits, job security and often lower wages.

He said it was becoming difficult to attract teachers because of declining welfare measures for teachers, and said the government should regularize the employment of contract teachers.

Ajay Pratap Singh (BJP) wanted a special package for the development of 250 places where Lord Ram is said to have spent time as well as the route of the Narmada River parikrama

Sajal Jain
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