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SC battle on medical seats

The health department is planning to move the Supreme Court against the Medical Council of India, which has disallowed admission on 250 MBBS seats in three medical colleges of Bihar.

By Shuchismita Chakraborty in Patna
  • Published 5.06.18
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Patna: The health department is planning to move the Supreme Court against the Medical Council of India, which has disallowed admission on 250 MBBS seats in three medical colleges of Bihar.

The apex regulator of medical education has denied admission on 100 seats each at the Government Medical College, Bettiah, and Vardhman Institute of Medical Sciences, Pawapuri, and on 50 additional seats at Anugrah Narayan Medical College in Gaya.

"The MCI conducted inspections at the colleges in February. Manpower and some infrastructure deficiencies have also been pointed out, but mostly it is about manpower," said Sanjay Kumar, the principal secretary of the health department. "Since then, the government has met the deficiencies but for some reason, the MCI didn't quite agree. We are moving the Supreme Court now, requesting it to give the medical colleges some time. We will also request the court to ask MCI to conduct inspection again."

Sources pointed at 35-50 per cent of faculty shortage at the colleges that are faced with crises in library, laboratories and diagnostic facilities.

"There is around 36 per cent faculty shortage at Government Medical College, Bettiah. Teachers from microbiology and medicine departments have either resigned or taken voluntary retirement at the start of the MBBS course but their posts have remained vacant. Admission started in 2013 while the college had received approval in 2008. How long can the MCI overlook these things?" asked a source.

Vardhman Institute of Medical Sciences principal Dr J.K. Das said: "There is around 33 per cent faculty shortage in the medical college. On the day of the MCI's inspection, around 10-15 per cent faculty members were unfortunately absent for different reasons. We had pleaded with the MCI but they didn't listen."

A source at the Pawapuri college, around 90km from Patna, however, claimed it has 50 to 70 per cent faculty shortage. "There is lack of assistant and associate professor, senior residents and paramedics also," the source said.

Another source in the health department said doctors had given a proposal asking for special incentive packages for medicos working in remote medical colleges to stop migration of doctors.

"The department agreed in-principle to provide Rs 80,000 incentive to professor and Rs 50,000 and Rs 40,000 respectively to associate and assistant professor besides their salaries but the plan was dropped later. Doctors don't want to work in medical colleges in interiors of the state," the source said.

Former IMA-Bihar president Dr Rajiv Ranjan Prasad, said: "The MCI has not taken care of the fact that geographical equilibrium of the production of doctors is highly limited to south and north India, and eastern India is ignored. There will be complete paucity of doctors in the whole of the eastern India."