Private Medical Colleges Market in India
In India, there are approximately 562 medical colleges under the National Medical Commission (NMC). Admission to medical institutions is based on the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) ranks. There are ~50.89% government medical colleges and ~49.11% private medical colleges in the country. The private medical colleges are equipped with advanced laboratories, along with highly-educated teaching faculty.
Private medical institutions have more number of seats than government medical colleges but admission charges and cost of the course are significantly high. At present there are 276 private medical colleges in India.
According to an NMC data, around 37 applications were received to establish private medical colleges for the academic year 2021 – 2022. Around 15 private medical colleges were set up between 2020 and 2021.
Increase in the number of seats in private medical colleges and growing investment opportunities for the same are some of the important factors driving the growth of the market. However, inadequate healthcare infrastructure, inappropriate doctor to patient ratio and high admission and course fees are the key challenges to the growth of the market.
Moreover, Medical facilities are not equitably distributed throughout the country. Patients are sometimes required to go abroad for treatment purposes as they are unsure about the success rate of the therapy in India. Several seats in private colleges are reserved for management quota, thus, blocking the seats of some deserving candidates.
Although the number of medical seats has increased, it is still not sufficient because of the vast population of the country.
Impact of COVID-19:
Several private medical colleges were converted into COVID-19 hospitals in 2020. Most of them were used as quarantine centers for infected patients to remain isolated. The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) issued a circular instructing the listed institutes and colleges not to insist on payment of fees, including admission charges.
However, in private colleges and deemed universities, medical students, many of whom are at the forefront of India’s medical response to the COVID-19 pandemic, have received no such protection.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) announced a centrally-sponsored scheme in 2021 to upgrade existing state/central government medical colleges to raise the number of MBBS seats. 90% of the investment is made by central government and the rest is borne by the states.
Under public-private partnerships, the central government will fund the viability gap to the tune of 60% -80% of the cost of establishing medical colleges in existing district hospitals.