Yogi Adityanath's government has been focusing on improving the health infrastructure in the state ever since he took the oath.
Fighting with the Covid pandemic in the last 14 months, the country and governments across India have realized the dire need for accessible, high-quality medical infrastructure and need for trained medical practitioners like never before. As soon as Yogi took the oath of office, he knew that law and order and health infrastructure in the state are in shambles. He was cognizant that creating medical infrastructure, upgrading medical facilities, and training medical practitioners is not a one-day task. So started from day one.
When Yogi became Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh in 2017, only 15 out of 75 districts of Uttar Pradesh have functioning medical colleges or institutes. Yogi gave the steep target of One district, One Medical College, to his team. Yogi and his team strategically divided the task into four phases and what has been achieved in the last 4.5 years is impressive. Let me take you through all four phases.
Phase 1 of Yogi Government’s One District, One Medical College, UP Mission–Activating seven existing structures
In Phase 1 of its mission, the Yogi government took the seven medical college structures built by the previous government and made them functioning. That required equipping them with all the required medical equipment, hiring doctors, professors, and other required medical staff, and getting the regulatory clearances from the Medical Council of India (MCI) for teaching the MBBS and allied courses.
In the 1st Phase, medical college structures were built in previous governments in the districts of (1) Ayodhya, (2) Basti, (3) Bahraich, (4) Firozabad, (5) Shahjahanpur were activated and operationalized.
In Phase 1 itself, (6) Cancer Institute in Lucknow was also operationalized - Linear Accelerators, X-Rays and equipment procured, doctors appointed, and first OPD and later IPD was also started along with the medical college. Additionally, Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences (Dr. RMLIMS), which catered to post-graduate (PG) students, was opened even for undergraduate (UG) MBBS students.
Phase 1 of the yogi government added almost 700 MBBS seats to the state of Uttar Pradesh.
Phase 2 of Yogi Government’s One District, One Medical College, UP Mission–Adding nine new Medical Colleges in UP
In phase-2, eight (8) district hospitals were taken up for up-gradation from district hospitals to medical colleges. Academic blocks and hospital up-gradation in these eight districts have reached the LOP-1 stage, and applications have been filed for National Medical Commission (NMC) inspection and clearance. This implies that the construction work required for teaching the first two years of pre-clinical courses in MBBS is complete. These eight new medical colleges are in (8) Deoria, (9) Eta, (10) Fatehpur, (11) Gazipur (12) Hardoi, (13) Mirzapur, (14) Pratapgarh, and (15) Siddhartha Nagar. The medical college in (16) Jaunpur, which had been approved by the previous government, but had been stalled, has been resurrected and is expected to be operational by August 2021.
The construction work for taking the LOP1 permission from MCI is over in all the medical colleges in these nine districts and pre-clinical departments (Microbiology, Biochemistry, Anatomy, Physiology, etc.) can be started now and as per the MCI procedure, and after two years second Letter of Permission (LOP2) will be taken for starting clinical departments (Gynecology, Surgery, Medicine, etc.). The government has sanctioned the requisite number of doctors, nurses, and para-medical staff to ensure that the undergraduate MBBS teaching can start in the academic session of 2021-22. These nine colleges will add almost 900-1000 more MBBS seats in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
Phase 3 of Yogi Government’s One District, One Medical College, UP Mission–Adding 14 new medical colleges in UP
In phase three of the One District, One Medical College mission, the Yogi government has planned a new set of medical colleges in 14 more districts.
These districts are - (17) Kanpur Dehat, (18) Kaushambi, (19) Chandauli, (20) Bulandshahar, (21) Orai, (22) Kushinagar, (23) Gonda, (24) Pilibheet, (25) Bijnour, (26) Lakheempur Khiri, (27) Sultanpur, (28) Lalitpur, (29) Sohanbhadra and (30) Amethi.
In almost all of these 14 districts, the land is identified, finance committee approval has been taken, cabinet approvals are taken, tenders floated on EPC mode on fixed time and fixed price arrangement to enable the work to be over on time and within the budget. Environmental clearance, local body clearance, demolition clearance for any existing old structure have all been obtained in 13 districts, contractors have been selected, and construction has begun on the ground. Only in Amethi, the cabinet approval is awaited.
Earlier UP used a contractual mode for its construction work, which has the scope of delays and cost overruns. The new contracts are executed on a fixed price and fixed time mode. These 14 medical colleges will be operational by next year, with MCI approval for LOP1 and the addition of 1300-1400 MBBS seats for the state of Uttar Pradesh.
Phase 4 of Yogi Government’s One District, One Medical College, UP Mission–Serving the unserved Districts
In phase 4, the Yogi government has targeted the unserved districts, where there are neither private nor government medical colleges. The Yogi government has identified 16 underserved districts and announced in the most recent budget that the government would build medical colleges in these districts through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP). The Yogi government will also use the Government of India's (GoI) plan, which provides a 30% capital subsidy to private entrepreneurs who participate in a public-private partnership (PPP) for a medical college project in underserved areas.
Yogi government is also working on Atal Bihari Vajpayee Medical University, Lucknow, which will later regulate the curriculum, examination, and academic norms in all the medical colleges of Uttar Pradesh, the same way as Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Technical University (APJAKTU) is an umbrella body for all the engineering and technical education colleges in Uttar Pradesh.
One must be surprised with such absolute clarity of thought and vision in UP CM Yogi Adityanath for Medical Care and Public Health, which otherwise is considered a complex and nuanced topic. If you dive into his life before becoming the Chief Minister, you will get the answer. Yogi Adityanath administered large-scale medical facilities like 350+ bedded Guru Shri Gorakshdham Hospital, Guru Shri Gorakshnath School of Nursing, and a large Guru Shri Gorakshnath Blood Bank as part of Mahant of Gorakhnath Mutt. As a member of parliament, he has raised multiple questions on Japanese Encephalitis, child malnutrition, demand for AIIMS-Gorakhpur, and other public health-related topics. In a recent interview with the ex-Director of AIIMS-Delhi, Dr. MC Mishra, said that Yogi Adityanath is an expert public health professional, and he is instrumental in a drastic reduction in Japanese Encephalitis cases in eastern Uttar Pradesh.
(The writer is an author and Policy Analyst)
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