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Government medical colleges hood-winking MCI

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Governance

If private medical colleges hire house surgeons to hoodwink Medical Council of India inspectors, it’s malpractice. But what if the government itself pushes through ‘standby transfers’ during MCI inspections and submits a report that new government medical colleges meet the governing body’s guidelines?
    
Medical education minister Ramachandra Gowda first termed this a ‘sensitive issue’ but then said the government was trying to save students who had got admission. Later, he insisted he didn’t want to comment on the issue.
    
The fact is the government issued 15 transfer orders of senior residents, lecturers, assistant professors and professors between January 16 and March 6 this year. In each transfer order, seven to nine faculty members were transferred from established medical institutions like Bangalore Medical College and KIMS, Hubli to new colleges in Hassan, Mandya, Shimoga and other places.
    
Worse, the government, in its ‘stand-by’ transfer order, has committed that the transferred faculty will be re-transferred to their parent organisation, effective from the conclusion of the MCI inspection. During these one- or two-day transfers, the faculty would be paid their salaries from their parent organisation.

HOW IT WORKED - In a bid to expand medical education to every district, the state government opened six new medical colleges in Mandya, Hassan, Shimoga, Bellary, Bidar and Raichur. After constructing the building, the government found it difficult to get teachers.
    
The trouble with government recruitment was that they had fixed salaries for each grade. They couldn’t get faculty for subjects like radiology, orthopaedics and paediatrics who usually earn lakhs of rupees per month in private colleges.
    
Students were admitted to these colleges and MCI conducted three inspections before giving recognition. The government had no other option but to effect ‘standby’ transfers of faculty from established medical colleges.

For the report in the TOI, click here.

We have all read in the papers about how the MCI chief has been operating a mega racket worth hundreds of crores. Now, when government itself behaves like a client, what else can you expect of the regulator? Haven't we been seeing these kinds of things happening repeatedly, whether in civil aviation, telecom, or wherever? Can there be a more convincing argument for the government to confine itself to just being the facilitator and regulator, rather than continuing in the role of a player, except may be in a very limited way?  

Muralidhar Rao
 

 

Comments

murali772's picture

MCI playing its role, hopefully.

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In a decision that will radically change medical education in the country, the Medical Council of India (MCI) gave its go-ahead to upgrade district hospitals to medical colleges across the country, through the PPP mode.

For the full report in the ToI, click here

The re-constituted MCI seems to be getting its act together, after all.

Muralidhar Rao

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