Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to instruct the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to temporarily suspend the notification issued by the National Medical Commission (NMC) that restricts the establishment of new medical colleges.
The directive, as outlined in the letter, has sparked controversy and raised concerns about encroachment on states’ rights and hindrances to the development of healthcare infrastructure.
The NMC’s notification, effective from the academic year 2023-2024, stipulates that new medical colleges can only be granted permission for annual intake capacities of 50, 100, or 150 seats, contingent on adherence to a ratio of 100 MBBS seats for every 10 lakh population in a state or union territory.
Chief Minister Stalin expressed deep reservations about this decision, considering it a direct infringement on the autonomy of state governments and a penalty on those states that have invested significantly in bolstering their public health systems over the years.
Stalin argued that progressive states like Tamil Nadu had made substantial strides in fortifying their tertiary healthcare networks, resulting in a surplus of medical professionals and improved health indicators.
Chennai, in particular, has emerged as a hub for healthcare excellence, serving not only Tamil Nadu but also the wider nation and international patients.