Medical Council of India(MCI), the apex medical education regulator, has taken stringent action against Sion Medical College, by deciding not to renew recognition of the college, due to inadequate facilities. In a notice sent to the college, the apex body has asked the college authorities to refrain from taking any fresh admissions to the college, this year. The notice comes as serious blow to the college’s first efforts to increase the number of MBBS seats to 150. The state sanction for this additional number had been granted and the college has been waiting for approvals from the regulators.
Sion is regarded as one of the country’s best institution for medical aspirants. The college authorities feel that the MCI’s action appears to be the result of some misunderstanding. Dr. Suleman Merchant, the College Dean, Sion Medical College has already met the MCI officials in Delhi, to understand what led to the education regulator taking such an extreme step, when the deficiencies detected by it, did not call for such extreme action.
The apex body reached the debarring decision after having conducted an inspection in January this year.
Lokmanya Tilak Municipal Medical College, as it is formally called, lacks in terms of a research laboratory, modern equipment, exam halls, and facilities for teachers; all the above mentioned fall in the gamut of infrastructural shortcomings, that call for the college’s de recognition, said a doctor from Sion Hospital.
“The council has decided not to recommend continuance of recognition of MBBS degree, granted by the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, Nasik,” reads the MCI notice.
Similar notices have been issued to many other medical colleges, after completion of the MCI’s yearly inspection check on infrastructure and education. The education regulator is known to give time to colleges to overcome their deficiencies after issuing notices.
Sion Medical College is confident that the council will provide them a second chance once the deficiencies have been attended to.Officials in the State’s Directorate of Medical Education, feel the Sion deficiencies, do not call for a de recognition of the college.
The MCI admission debarment comes as an awkward revelation for Sion Medical college, established in 1964. The 100 student intake every year and the ensuing training of these aspirants at the 1,800 bed Sion Hospital, has been a source of pride for all. Doctors and state medical officials have found it hard to believe that Sion is one of the names that features in the MCI’s 32 college list for de recognition.
“It seems the MCI issued the notice to the Sion college to merely show that it was not targeting private medical institutions alone,” a senior doctor at Sion hospital said.
“The problems pointed out at the college are minor.In comparison, some of the colleges in the MCI list had bogus doctors, ” he added.
Pravin Shingare, Director Directorate , Medical Education and Research, said deficiencies pointed at by the MCI would be overcome.
“I have asked the dean to submit a report and within a month’s time, we rectify all issues. The MCI always gives time for rectification,” Mr. Shingare told the Bombay Mirror.