A cure needed for unfit colleges
LIVES AT RISK Why is the Medical Council of India granting licences to MBBS students graduating from institutes it had once declared ‘unfit’ for medical education?
Shortage of resident doctors: 99%; deficiency of faculty: 57%, major operation on the day of assessment: Nil, bed occupancy: 10.36%, number of patients in ICU: Nil…..
Believe it or not, but this is a report of the Medical Council of India (MCI) on the inspection of a medical college, the NRI Institute of Medical Sciences, Visakhapatnam.
The MCI checks were being conducted to renew permission to the institute to admit MBBS students for the fourth year. The system to recognise medical colleges is very skewed. Recognition is granted to a newly opened institute after it has been inspected by MCI for the fourth time, if its facilities are found up to the mark even if it has failed the first, second and third inspections. Now, even if it passes the fourth inspection, shouldn’t the quality of medical education and training imparted by the institute to its students be questioned? Legal provisions in India make the opening and running of such medical colleges possible. The nexus between many promoters of private colleges and some state governments adds to the problem.
An important question is: what happens to an institute which is declared unfit for the fourth year? The state government, as per legal provisions, should take over the institute. It should either create facilities for students or ensure that they are shifted to other recognised colleges. However, though the MCI has always recommended to the Central government to not allow admissions to such colleges and despite the Centre accepting their suggestions, state governments are slow to act and shut down the institutes.
Because of this impasse, about 10,000 students are still continuing their MBBS studies in colleges declared unfit by MCI. “The medical education regulator, ie MCI, is fully aware of the deficiencies in the colleges. Not only that, it officially informs The Central and state governments that a particular college is completely unfit for medical education. Despite that, lack of timely action in the matter is not only producing ‘half-baked’ doctors for the society but also causing grave injustice to the students,” says a medical expert.
MCI provisions that an ‘unfit’ college be closed down before the students be shifted to other colleges has further complicated matters
More than 40 to 50 batches of students are studying medicine in colleges which have failed to get the MCI nod for admitting students for the second, third and fourth batches.
According to a figure, officially provided by MCI to HT Education, 29 medical colleges were refused renewal of permission to admit fresh batches in 2015-2016. Some of them have only one batch of students while others have two or three batches.