Establishment of oxygen plants on the campus and Covid testing facilities and stoppage of non-Covid treatment during the peak of Covid are the other reasons cited by medical colleges while seeking a fee hike during a meeting held last week.
While colleges claimed that they demanded a 30% hike, medical education director Dr PG Girish said the proposal seeks 20% increase. “The government has called a meeting on Monday to discuss it,” he told TOI.
According to data from Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Karnataka has 8,900 undergraduate medical seats. The state government has control over 75% of these seats, which include government and private quota seats in private colleges.
‘No income since pandemic struck’
K arnataka ment medical has colleges 19 govern , 27 – private colleges, four private universities and 10 deemedto-be universities.
UG medical fee was last increased 25% in 2019. A student doing MBBS under the government quota in a private medical college pays Rs 1.4 lakh a year and Rs 59,850 in a government college.
Managements said medical colleges were “nearly shut” for non-Covid admissions during the pandemic hurting their income, adding it’s difficult to run a college in such circumstances. They said that from 2021-22, all the seats will be allotted through all-India counselling and this is the last year colleges can negotiate with the government on fee revision.
According to MR Jayaram, chairman, MS Ramaiah Medical College, and chairman of Karnataka Professional Colleges’ Foundation, all private medical colleges had been virtually handed over to the government in the past 18 months. “In our hospital, we handed 800 beds to the government for Covid treatment. No other treatment could be taken up in that period. Medical college hospitals are running without any income since the pandemic began. Many students have not paid full fee and are opting for installments,” said Jairam.
The chief of another medical college said establishment of Covid testing facility and the mandatory setting up of oxygen plant at medical colleges to augment the supply and storage of medical oxygen for the patients hit them hard.
“The state government has agreed to bear 70% of cost of oxygen plant construction, yet colleges have to spend a minimum Rs 1.3 crore,” said the head of a private medical college.