NMC Notification On New Medical Colleges Should Be Kept In Abeyance: M K Stalin

The Tamil Nadu government has raised concerns about the National Medical Commission’s notification, which imposes restrictions on the establishment of new medical colleges. National Medical Commission on restricting the opening of new medical colleges has created a “regressive scenario” and should be kept in abeyance, the Tamil Nadu government said. Chief Minister M K Stalin has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to direct the Union Health Ministry to temporarily suspend the notification and commence a consultative process to resolve the issue, as reported by PTI.

“The recent NMC restriction on new medical colleges is another attempt to encroach upon the rights of States! Why penalise the States that have tirelessly built their strong public health infrastructure over decades? Is it fair to deprive backward districts from getting tertiary healthcare at new medical colleges?,” said CM M K Stalin in a tweet.

This step from NMC could severely limit the future growth of both public and private healthcare services in states like Tamil Nadu. I urge Hon’ble PM  to reconsider this move. Every district deserves the best health care for the poor! Every State should be allowed to prosper to its full potential!!,” M K Stalin added.

He pointed out that forward-thinking states like Tamil Nadu have consistently bolstered their tertiary healthcare infrastructure over several decades, resulting in a sufficient supply of doctors and nurses. He said that this strategic approach has translated into improved performance in various health metrics and indicators.

“Chennai has emerged as the healthcare capital of India. In both public and private sectors, our skilled medical professionals have been able to successfully serve not only the people of Tamil Nadu but also of other states as well as other nations. This has generated a huge demand for quality health services and new institutions are absolutely necessary for us to cater to it in the future,” Stalin added.

“The criterion proposed for such restriction, higher doctor-population ratio at the state level as compared to the norms, is also not appropriate. Even when there is adequate availability of doctors at the state level, there are districts where their availability continues to be a persistent issue,” he said.

The issue at hand can only be adequately resolved by establishing new medical colleges in underdeveloped regions. Imposing restrictions solely based on state-level criteria would unjustly deny these deserving districts access to crucial tertiary educational institutions.

“I would also like to point out the fact that in states like Tamil Nadu which have a higher doctor-population ratio, such high availability of doctors has been achieved predominantly due to investments made by State Governments and the private sector and not by investments made by the Union Government. We have been continuously urging that the Union Government needs to contribute more but projects like AIIMS, Madurai are yet to take-off,” Stalin said.

In light of this circumstance, imposing constraints on new institutions would effectively eliminate any opportunity for Tamil Nadu to receive new Central investments in the healthcare sector. Furthermore, a recent Supreme Court judgment affirmed that executive directives cannot unreasonably curtail the fundamental right to establish educational institutions as outlined in Article 19(1)(g) of the Indian Constitution.

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“Thus, the above NMC notification may also be legally untenable. Considering all the above issues, I request you to instruct the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to keep this notification in abeyance and initiate a consultative process with the State Governments on the steps to address this issue,” Stalin told the PM.