Srinagar, February 3:

In a bid to increase the number of specialist doctors, government medical colleges of the state have requested the Medical Council of India to allow them replace diploma seats with MD/MS courses.

Last year, the MCI announced that the existing PG diploma seats in medical colleges of India will be done away with, and instead, MD/MS courses will be started in their place.

The original notification for seat conversion had been issued in July last year. The ministry in its latest notification had set 28 January as the cut-off date for permissions. However, no letters of permission have been issued yet.

While the degree seat increase is being anticipated by aspirants of MD/MS in the state, many fear that due to paucity of time, J&K might lose the opportunity. “Our administrators have a habit of doing things at the last minute,” said an aspirant who had recently appeared in NEET PG. He said that the state machinery should have “moved in time so that there was no chance of losing the 55 odd degree seats that could help so many of us” and also lessen state’s specialist shortage.

Last year, J&K had 442 MD/MS seats, in addition to 55 diploma seats. The Union health ministry has taken a slew of measures in the past couple of years to increase the number of postgraduate and undergraduate seats in medical colleges to deal with the issue of lopsided doctor-patient ratio. Last year, due to the changed teacher-student ratio permitted by the MCI, GMC Srinagar secured an increase of 33 MD/MS seats while GMC Jammu got an increase of 15 seats.

Courtesy: Greater Kashmir