New medical colleges in Kashmir may fail quality check by MCI

New medical colleges in Kashmir may fail quality check by MCI
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Srinagar: A team from the Medical Council of India (MCI) on Tuesday concluded its inspection of two medical colleges in Jammu and Kashmir, including the newly established medical college in Doda, to check whether the deficiencies pointed out last year by the council had been filled or not.
A two-member team of MCI inspected the new medical college in Doda on Monday and then conducted a surprise inspection of Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar today (Tuesday). The team reviewed facilities and infrastructure available at the college.
According to sources, the duo will begin its inspection of remaining medical colleges of the state including GMC Anantnag, GMC Baramulla, GMC Rajouri, and GMC Kathua from Wednesday.
“The team is verifying whether deficiencies pointed out by another MCI team last time were eliminated or not. They are assessing standards of the institution to make sure that it has adequate facilities, infrastructure and faculties to run MBBS courses,” said an official privy to their visit.
Last year, an MCI team had identified deficiencies in staff and infrastructure in the new colleges and granted three months to the government.
However, many departments in those identified colleges are yet to get professors as the Health department has failed to complete the recruitment process.
The health department also flouted norms recently by appointing doctors to teaching positions who had not the requisite experience.
Sources told Kashmir Reader that faculty members recruited under lateral-entry basis haven’t worked in 300-bed hospitals, which is the main prerequisite for appointment as professors and associate professors under MCI rules.
“Most of the appointees have been working in district hospitals run by directorates of health services in Kashmir and Jammu as consultants and senior consultants. None among them has worked in a 300-bed hospital,” the sources said.
Based on the report of the visiting team, the MCI will take a decision on approval to new medical colleges to start academic session to teach MBBS course.
Unfazed, the administrators of the new medical colleges said they were hoping to get the go-ahead from the MCI team to start MBBS course this academic session.
“The team visited departments, did a head count of faculty in each department and in each hostel. Although we have a little shortage of faculty, we are hopeful that we will get the go-ahead from them as we assured the experts that shortage of faculty will be fulfilled immediately after the elections,” said Dr Tariq Azad, Principal of Government Medical College Doda.
“MCI will likely consider our case as a hill state and the criteria of 300-bed hospital in faculty experience will be relaxed to 250-bed,” he said.
Similar views were expressed by Dr Showkat Jeelani, Principal of GMC Anantnag.
He said that recruitment of faculty was an ongoing process and the government is serious about it. “The (MCI) team may take note of our shortcomings but they will also take a lenient view on certain issues. Most of the issues have already been addressed by us, except a few, which will be solved soon,” Dr Jeelani said.
He added that the prerequisite of having experience in 300-bed hospital for faculty won’t be any issue, as the candidates will get “retrospective” experience.
“We are hopeful of positive response from them,” the principal said of his expectations from the MCI.