The demure state of medical advancement in India is clearly reflected from a recently revealed statistic where it has been seen that for every 55000 Indian citizens only a single government medical seat is present in the country. Not only this fact reveals the abject state in which the nation’s government patronized medical education system lies but also shows how India’s entire medical scenario lies in shambles.
Events behind the curtains
The extreme shortage of seats in the government medical colleges is nothing but a result of government’s nonchalant attitude towards education a few decades ago. Almost three decades of sheer neglect from the union government broke the backbone of medical education in India starting from 1970s till the beginning of the new millennium. Statistics say that in 1971 there used to be 38000 individuals for every government medical seat whereas in 2001 the same figure stood at almost 60000. This fact alone tells a lot about the step motherly act of the government towards medical education in India. It also proved how irresponsible was the government’s policy making as they expected that private partners will fill in the void and hence rescue the situation.
Beneficiaries of the crisis
The poor state of medical education endorsed by the government lay bare in front of everyone. The first and most aggressive utilizers of the situation were the private medical institutions. Such institutions provided medical seats where the government could not. They showed that dreaming about medical education is possible even without government patronage. They also put forward a new hazardous formula that proved to be deceptively lethal in the future. They proved to the entire nation that if one has got money, he can surely get education. Medical education became a commodity that was buyable and it came at the price of its quality and credibility. Medical science was yet again the made the victim as increasingly selfish mindsets changed the entire medical fraternity in the days to come.
Why are the statistics concerning?
The statistics are big reasons enough to be concerned. They have ensured the dominance of private players in the field of medical education. The alarming fact of all is how the tentacles of privatization have spread throughout the system. In 1951 a single private college seat was meant for every 3632000 individuals whereas in 2013 the number is lesser than 50000. Hence it is evident that the proportion of medical seats has increased by almost 73 times to what it used to be in 1951. Government seats on the other hand did not even show a twofold rise in the same period. The most alarming situation happens to be existent in the southern states of India where only 21% of the entire nation’s population enjoys the luxury of over half of the entire nation’s private medical seats.
The way out for better future prospects
The government needs to show more diligence towards the promotion of government medical colleges. Private medical institutes that usurp crores from students in form of capitation fees do not auger well of the nation’s future. The drastically dropping standards are proof to this reality. The solution definitely lies in increasing the number of government institutions to keep the nation’s faith on medical science. States like West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and many more lack government medical colleges yet they depend increasingly on them. It must be ensured that these states get more medical colleges. It must be remembered that privatization is good but never at the cost of medical science.