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USTM’s medical college awaits state govt funding

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SHILLONG, April 16: The University of Science and Technology Meghalaya (USTM) has asked the state government to expedite the funding process to secure the 40 free medical seats in its upcoming PA Sangma International Medical College and Hospital lest the opportunity is missed.
“We are requesting the government of Meghalaya to help us with the funding when there is a need because when the batch starts, we need not take more loans because the students would be paying,” USTM’s founder-chairman Mahbubul Hoque said on Tuesday.
Stating that the university wants to have strong ties with the state government, he said: “An MBBS course in a private college is expensive with the fee structure starting from Rs 70 lakh but financial support from the government will ensure the students from Meghalaya are not deprived (of medical education).”
He said offering a free MBBS course would be difficult and once the medical college starts, the revenue generated from the students would help return the money to the government in 20 years.
Hoque said a proposal of Rs 235 has been sent to the government for 40 assured seats “based on certain calculations”. The college is expected to break even in five years, he added.
He, however, said the state government has communicated verbally so far.
About the medical college, he said, “It is coming up in a big way. Although the project is half done, the hospital is operational. We will have 350 beds by the end of this year.”
He said the college completed all formalities with the National Medical Council for the first batch of the MBBS programme. The Meghalaya government has provided support by issuing no-objection certificates and essentiality certificates, he said.
Hoque said the super speciality hospital, once completed will have 1,100 beds, including 600 general beds.
“Many renowned doctors have already joined us and more than 160 of them are from medical colleges and hospitals in Assam, Meghalaya and other states. We are in touch with leading doctors from Apollo, Hyderabad and other hospitals to have a mix of expertise,” he said.
“We have taken a bank loan of Rs 204 crore for the construction work. We are waiting for the state government’s financial support for the work to pick up pace,” he said.
Hoque said a team from the National Medical Council is scheduled to inspect the college work by April-end. “We hope to start the academic session from September onwards,” he said.

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