New Delhi: The Medical Council of India’s(MCI), insistence that faculty teaching post graduate courses in Emergency Medicine have two years training in the field, despite this specialty being a new introduction, indeed seems to be jeopardizing course introduction in colleges in the absence of trained faculty, and also making the task of finding faculty with requisite training qualification- difficult.
TOI reports that with the MCI making the 2 year training qualification mandatory for teaching faculty, there is increased insecurity among students doing the course, as institutional recognition is being withheld, since the faculty teaching the course does not have the requisite qualification. Colleges trying to introduce the course are also being denied permission.Ironically, with this specialty being new, there is no one who can be trained in the country, in an MCI recognized course.
With an outpouring need for doctors trained in emergency management, the Council’s mandatory requirement is acting like a cog in the wheel, as it is slowing down adequate numbers from getting trained in the new specialty.
The post graduate medical education committee, which held a meeting in June 2016 declared the Council’s two year mandatory training criterion for the emergency medicine course, ‘an unfeasible qualification’. This was said in the light of the fact that the course had been non existent in the country, earlier. The education committee went as far as constituting a sub-committee to recommend changes in the mandatory qualification.
Despite admittance to the impossibility of getting medicos with the mandatory qualification, the MCI continues to refuse granting recognition to the specialty course on the same grounds.
PG committee’s March meeting minutes on the issue have yet not been released. The Council has maintained a discreet silence, on queries by the press.
Emergency Medicine as a specialty was gazetted by the MCI on July 21,2009.The same year a notification was issued regarding qualifications needed for faculty for EM – PG degree in general medicine or surgery, anaesthesia, respiratory medicine or orthopaedics with a two year training in Emergency Medicine.
The first colleges to get permission to start MD Emergency Medicine, NHL medical College (February 2010), and BJ Medical College (Dec 29, 2009) both in Ahmedabad, did not have qualified faculty notes TOI . This is on record in the minutes of the post graduate committee meetings.
In the absence of legitimate Emergency Medicine training being offered in India, before the course was recognized, as specialty in 2009 and faculty decision being taken the same year, it was out of question to find anyone with the mandatory two year training in EM to be appointed faculty.
Out of 51 seats under MCI jurisdiction, only six – five in Gujarat and one in Karnataka – have been recognized till date.
With MCI holding back the expansion of EM courses by not granting recognition to them in medical colleges, students are turning to corporate healthcare facilities offering unrecognized PG courses in the subject; paying exorbitant fee in exchange, f observes the daily, TOI .