Chennai: The transfer of 2nd year MBBS students of Ponnaiyah Ramajayam Institute of Medical Sciences (PRIMS) to other medical colleges in the state has apparently hit a roadblock.
The state government recently informed the Madras High Court that as the government-run medical institutes are already at their maximum capacity, all the second-year MBBS students of defunct PRIMS could be accommodated only in 10 private medical colleges in Tamil Nadu.
The decision of shifting these students was taken by the state government after noting the lack of facilities for clinical practice and lab studies at the newly founded medical institute, PRIMS.
The information was furnished to the HC during a recent hearing on the petitions filed by the 108 students, who had requested the Court’s intervention in their transfer from PRIMS to other medical colleges. The batch consists of 150 students.
In an earlier hearing of the case, the HC had directed the state government to apprise the Centre as well as MCI of the vacant seats available in different private colleges and how the 150 MBBS students could be accommodated over there.
This direction came in view after the state government informed that on 3rd October, the Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan had written a letter to the Union Health and Family Welfare Secretary Preeti Sudan seeking its concurrence for shifting 150 second year MBBS students of PRIMS to the other self-financing private colleges, since the government medical colleges were already overloaded.
The students had also requested the authorities to shift them into government-run medical colleges.
The counsel for the students submitted that all the 108 students have to be accommodated only in state-run medical colleges since there is an apprehension that some of the private medical colleges may also face the same problem like PRIMS in future and the students will be in trouble. In addition, if all the MBBS students are to be accommodated in private medical colleges, then the approval of the apex medical council is necessary.
In response, the state reiterated its submission stating that it was not possible to accommodate the present 108 students in government medical colleges as the government had shifted about 144 students of Annai Medical College and Hospital to various government colleges last year only.
While abiding by the HC’s earlier order, the state has taken consent from the MCI for its decision of transferring the MBBS students to private medical institutes.
The state government addressed to the Board of Governors/MCI to accord approval for accommodating the 108 students in self-financing medical colleges and has received its approval for the same. Ten self-financing medical colleges have expressed their willingness to accommodate the students, the counsel for the state further informed the HC.
Later, the MCI submitted that the petitioners cannot apprehend that they will be in trouble is they get shifted to private medical colleges as out of the 10 medical colleges, 8 have been granted permanent approval and the inspection in those colleges will be done once in five years only. Only two institutes, Madha and Annapoorna medical colleges have not been granted permanent approval.
Deccan Chronicle reports that following this, the bench directed the state’s counsel to get instruction as to whether the 20 students who were supposed to be transferred to Madha and Annapoorna medical colleges could be accommodated in other private medical colleges or at least 10 students could be accommodated in other colleges.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported about the MBBS students, who moved HC seeking the transfer from PRIMS. According to these students, who were admitted in the first year MBBS course during 2016-17 under the government and management quota after passing the NEET, the medical college was started from the 2016-17 academic year after obtaining approval from the state and central governments and the Medical Council of India (MCI).
It was mentioned before the court that the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare debarred the college from making MBBS admissions for 2017-18 and 2018-19 as it had failed to rectify the ‘deficiencies’ pointed out by the MCI.
The MBBS students contended that the medical college is going through a financial crisis and has been unable to pay a salary to the teaching and non-teaching staff for the past six months. This had led to an exodus of the medical faculty and other employees.