KOTTAYAM: In yet another setback for the state’s medical education sector, the MBBS course in the Government Medical College, Kottayam, is set to lose its recognition from the Medical Council of India (MCI) for non-compliance of MCI guidelines.Based on an inspection conducted in July, 2017, MCI sent a letter on August 2, 2017, to the principal of the college, with a directive to rectify the deficiencies within one month from receiving the letter to avoid losing its MBBS recognition.
The MCI has cited ten reasons for cancelling the recognition, including 11.79 per cent deficiency in faculty numbers, lack of an adequate number of Static X-ray units and other infrastructure facilities.
The MCI stated “in view of the above (reasons), the Council’s executive committee decided not to recommend continuance of recognition of MBBS degree granted by Kerala University of Health Science, in respect of students being trained at GMC, Kottayam, and decided the institute be asked to submit the compliance after rectification of the above deficiencies within a month.”
Presently, the college does not have recognition for several of its postgraduate departments including forensic medicine, general medicine, general surgery, physiology and preventive medicine, for non-compliance of MCI guidelines for the past five years. Now the situation looks to get worse if the MBBS course too loses its recognition.Interestingly, the MCI decision comes at a time when the Directorate of Medical Education (DME) is planning to scale down the qualification required for joining as a faculty at the Medical Education Department from assistant professor/senior lecturer having PG degree in the respective discipline to lecturer having MBBS qualification. If the decision, which is against the MCI guidelines, is implemented, the recognition issue will be further worsened.
According to the inspection report, there are 21 vacancies - two professors, five associate professors and 14 assistant professors - in various departments, including forensic medicine, biochemistry, general medicine and general surgery. There is a deficiency of 10 assistant professors in general medicine and surgery alone. In the infrastructure level, the CT scan available is only four slice against the required minimum 16 slice, common rooms and examination hall were smaller than required. This apart, MCI also pointed out the absence of dietician and non-availability of adequate Indian journals in the central library.
College principal Dr Jose Joseph said this was not a major issue. “Inspections are routine every five years. We have already submitted a compliance report and are awaiting the decision of the MCI. Moreover, the issues were minor in nature. We have only less than five per cent faculty deficiency here. However, since MCI conducted a surprise visit, many of the faculty members could not be present on the day of inspection. Regarding X-ray machine, MCI did not count the machines at the Institute of Child Health ICH. And we will buy a new CT scan machine as suggested by MCI,” he said. At the same time, students shared their concern that college authorities could not even rectify the deficiencies cited by MCI four years ago while de-recognising the PG courses. The college has an intake of 150 students for the MBBS course.
Based on an inspection conducted in July, 2017, MCI sent a letter on August 2 to the college principal, asking to rectify the deficiencies
The MCI has cited 10 reasons for cancelling the recognition, including 11.79 per cent deficiency in faculty numbers