Kerala: The news of 53 PG medical courses not being recognised by MCI in medical colleges in the state does not seem to have affected the state health department. Even though it impacts the future of 600 students; there are more concerning issues for the state health department now. There are reportedly 543 out of 2,210 vacant posts-which constitutes one-fourth of the total posts sanctioned by the DME in the state. The figures have been accessed through an RTI. The reply by DME includes vacancy in nine GMCs, except GMC, Ernakulam.
Close to 53 PG medical education departments in GMCs failed to get an MCI approval, due to noted deficiencies. There were lack of faculty members, including professors, associate professors and assistant professors noted in these colleges.
Dr P S Jinesh, a medical activist implied that this is a culpable negligence on part of the administration has given stress to patient care. And, now the medical courses of GMCs have been derecognized by MCI. Another reason for this situation and a noted increase in requirement of professor is that the Departmental Promotion Committee did not organise promotions in time.
Only recently, Pinarayi Vijayan presided over government’s first Cabinet meeting had asked all the departments to share the vacancy details. The Kerala Medical Postgraduates Association (KMPGA) has approached the state government for resolving issues problem with respect to recruiting teachers.
“The government should take urgent steps to report the vacancies to PSC,” said Dr Antony Stanley, KMPGA secretary. Joint DME, K Sreekumari told Express that the Health and Family Welfare Department has already reported the vacancies to the government and vacancies would be filled soon. “It is learnt that the Health Secretary has spoken to the Health Minister and met PSC chairman as part of expediting the process,” she said. But according to Dr C P Vijayan, president of the Kerala Government Medical College Teachers’ Association (KGMCTA), the situation is highly alarming.
“Apart from the workload of existing doctors, the lack of adequate teachers would gravely affect the quality of medical education. It will eventually affect the training and, hence, the competency of medical students when teaching is compromised. When patient care became satisfactory after the implementation of residency system, government turned a blind eye towards the teaching sector,” Vijayan said.
Express had reported in April, 2014 and May, 2016 that faculty crunch was a main reason for losing MCI recognition for various PG courses in GMCs. However, the increase in vacancies has shown that the government had taken little effort to address the issue.