| Finger on pulse
Guwahati, Sept. 6: Dispur has decided to maintain uniformity in the standard of medical education both in government and private medical colleges in the state.
An official said anyone interested in setting up medical institutions in the state would have to seek affiliation to Srimanta Sankaradeva University of Health Sciences, which would prepare the syllabi, conduct examinations and fix the fee structures for these institutions.
“Medical colleges in Assam now function under different universities, creating variations in medical education. Examinations are held on different dates with different question papers. With the establishment of the Srimanta Sankaradeva University of Health Sciences in 2009, the state government wants to bring all medical colleges under its purview to ensure a uniform standard of education and examinations in the state,” the official said.
At present, Gauhati University and Dibrugarh University prescribe the syllabi and conduct exams and evaluations of students of MBBS and post-graduate medical courses. From next year, they would be relieved of these responsibilities and only Srimanta Sankaradeva University will look after medical education.
“Lack of uniformity in medical education has created some evils like the growth of some private institutions that impart below-standard medical education. It has been alleged that many MBBS students who pass out from DU find it difficult to clear the PG entrance test under GU because of variations in the medical education system. If the syllabi and conducting of exams and evaluations were uniform, students would not face any problem clearing the PG entrance test under any university,” the official said.
Sources said the government also wanted to introduce uniform medical education to prevent private institutions from functioning at their own whims and fancies. Several private parties have reportedly shown interest in setting up medical colleges in the state and the government must put a mechanism in place so that these institutions impart quality education.
“The state government is also formulating a policy to allow private players to set up medical colleges on the campuses of existing district civil hospitals. As it sets up more hospitals in the districts, for example a super-speciality hospital, the private parties will be able to set up medical colleges there, too. The policy aims to provide quality healthcare and produce more doctors,” a source said.
The vice-chancellor of Srimanta Sankaradeva University of Health Sciences, Umesh Chandra Sarma, said they had started giving affiliations to private colleges and would soon start the process of preparing syllabi, conducting exams and evaluations. He said the university was working to include local health issues in the medical syllabi to enable future doctors to effectively meet the health problems and challenges peculiar to Assam and the region.