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?

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - HT Education - - Front Page - Jee­van Prakash Sharma

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.

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