How Expensive is Medical Education in India?

The average course fees for studying MBBS across government colleges in India is around Rs 8,000 to Rs 35,000 per annum. However, the top rank scorers of the national level medical entrance exam — NEET — are the only ones who are able to get through such colleges. Others are left to opt for private medical colleges, and the fee for the same is way too high as compared to government medical colleges.

Every year around 18 lakh students appear for medical in India, out of which around 9 lakh qualify whereas around 90,000 MBBS seats available. In such a situation, students who do not get admission in the country, go abroad to study medical. When the war between Ukraine and Russia broke out, several Indian medical students were trapped in the medical. Most of the students had gone to Ukraine as medical education is cheaper in Ukraine than in India.

While those who make their names to the private medical colleges in the country, they are unable to take admission due to expensive medical studies in India. Several Indian students go to countries like Russia, Ukraine, Bangladesh, Nepal, Spain and Germany to study medical. The fees in these countries are half of what it is in India. If the fee for medical education in any private college in India is Rs 60 to 70 lakhs, then in these countries it is only Rs 30 to 35 lakhs.

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In 2010, the Lancet Commission found that the cost of medical education has increased worldwide. In India this expenditure has doubled as compared to earlier whereas in China, there has been a threefold increase in the fees for medical education, reported a leading news daily.

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Besides, NEET is also one of the toughest exams to crack. The “Report of the High-Level Committee To Study The Impact of NEET on Medical Admissions in Tamil Nadu” by the Justice AK Rajan Committee found that students who have been enrolled in MBBS courses via NEET have performed poorly than those enrolled based on class 12 marks. The report also suggested that NEET is skewed towards students from wealthy families. The report states that if NEET continues for a few more years, “the health care system of Tamil Nadu will be very badly affected.”

Meanwhile, there are scholarship programmes to help students their dream of becoming a doctor. The government of West Bengal offers Vivekananda Merit Cum Means Scholarship for minorities with family income below Rs 2.5 lakh. Among other scholarships include HDFC Bank Educational Crisis Scholarship, Nationwide Education and Scholarship Test, Vahani Scholarship, Dr Abdul Kalam Scholarship for Medical Students, etc, that help students from underprivileged background to study further.

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