The court justified its decision by saying that a developing country like India needed more doctors to improve the health facilities.
Justice Kailash Gambhir was hearing a petition of three medical colleges – Teerthanker Mahaveer Institute of Management and Technology, Rama Medical College Hospital and Research Centre, and School of Medical Sciences and Research, Sharda University.
He said that India ranked 67th in the list of 133 developing countries with the doctor-population ratio at 1:1,700 as compared to the world ratio 1.5:1,000.
The private colleges had challenged an MCI order rejecting their plea to increase their intake in the MBBS course.
Justice Gambhir, in his 110-page judgment Wednesday, said: “The petitioners before this court are seeking increase in additional intake and it is not in dispute that for seeking the said increase they had applied within the stipulated time as prescribed in the regulations.”
“The parties are well aware that Sep 30 is the deadline for admissions in the MBBS course and if these matters are remanded back to the MCI…then these petitions will become infructuous despite the decision of this court in their favour,” Justice Gambhir said.
“The MCI is accordingly directed to grant increase in the additional intake of students from 100 to 150 to all these petitioner institutes subject to, however, the condition that these petitioners fulfil all other requirements and the criteria laid down in the regulations,” the court said.
The court said that there were only 19 medical colleges in the country at the time of independence and today the number of colleges imparting MBBS education was almost 335.
It was indeed a significant rise which should be the sign of the progress and growth of a nation, especially like ours, with a burgeoning population. But whether the increased numbers meant better health care delivery system was still debatable, the judge said.
“With the government colleges’ share being less and the private colleges shouldering more responsibility, there is still approximately only one medical college per 38.41 lakh. The figures reflect the acute crisis in the country,” he said.