Mumbai: Forensic Medicine as a subject option for doctors at the post graduation level seems to be taking a back seat. Five out of the eight seats in forensic science available all across Mumbai government colleges are reported to be lying vacant. The reason state for the same appears to be that forensic science does not have any employment prospects in hospitals, as out of the few posts available, most are limited to government hospital.
Though post graduation seats in forensic science are offered by Grant Medical College (JJ Hospital), Sion Hospital, LTMG, GS Medical College and TN Medical College, students opt for general streams. Information sought by a former student of JJ Hospital through the RTI revealed that of the eight seats assigned , merely three get filled.
Dr Sagar Mundada, President, Central Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors, said, “Most job opportunities are in the government sector, but even these are not enough and there is struggle for getting the same jobs. Also, women almost always prefer not to take up this field owing to the medico-legal nature of the job.”
According to Dr Sunil Kadam, Professor/ HOD, Forensic Science, KJ Somaiya College, initially two seats were chalked out for professors, four for associate professors and a total of eight lectures scheduled. All of these have been reduced by the Medical Council of India (MCI). Private colleges seem to have benefited immensely due to the MCI reductions related to forensic science.
Furthermore, subject stagnation in forensic science is dissuading doctors from taking it up at study level. The two other deterrents being a total absence of promotion and extension in retirement age.
The state in order to encourage study of forensic science had in 2013 announced one forensic science appointment in districts hospitals all over. However, implementation of the same did not come about.
Dr Harish Pathak, Professor of Forensic Medicine, KEM Hospital, said, “We had a meeting with the government body, and they promised to recruit one forensic expert in all district hospitals. This will create employment for 20 to 30 doctors. Until the government increases the posts, why will students take up forensic science rather than opting for paediatrics or gynaecology?”
Between the four colleges 9,500 bodies are available for post mortems, and hundreds of POCSO and rape cases.