New Delhi: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has greenlit a $500 million loan to enhance the standards and affordability of tertiary healthcare and medical education in Maharashtra.

In a statement, Nishant Jain, ADB’s health specialist, highlighted the collaboration between ADB and the Maharashtra state government to realize the vision of delivering affordable and accessible tertiary healthcare to all by 2030. The focus is also on strengthening a cadre of skilled and professional medical practitioners.

The initiative, known as the Maharashtra Tertiary Care and Medical Education Sector Development Programme, will implement crucial policy reforms to reinforce tertiary healthcare services and expand medical education, particularly in underserved areas.

Funded by the ADB loan, the program aims to establish four new medical colleges with tertiary care hospitals. These facilities will incorporate features resilient to climate and disasters, gender-sensitive, and socially inclusive. Additionally, the program aims to increase bed capacity in state hospitals and recruit a minimum of 500 doctors for these new institutions.

ADB’s contribution is expected to create an enabling policy environment to attract and retain medical professionals through performance incentives, a novel talent management policy, and the establishment of India’s first state-led centers of excellence in healthcare and medical education. The loan seeks to alleviate the financial burden on patients by enhancing access to quality drugs, adopting sustainable asset management practices with a pioneering climate-resilient asset planning policy, and introducing a performance management system to promote competition among medical colleges, according to the statement.

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