National Medical Commission finds most planned MBBS colleges inadequate, ET HealthWorld

National Medical Commission finds most planned MBBS colleges inadequate, ET HealthWorld


MUMBAI: The state's plan to start 10 new medical colleges and add 1,000 MBBS seats this year may hit a roadblock as most received an adverse response from the National Medical Commission (NMC) in last week's inspection. Of the 10 proposed colleges, three or four, including the one proposed at GT Hospital in Fort, are expected to get in, while others may have to wait for at least a year.

The NMC, responsible for approving and regulating medical education in India, identified deficiencies in faculty, infrastructure and equipment in some colleges during a physical inspection last Monday, following which online interactions were held on Friday. A state official confirmed that “the deficiencies have raised doubts over whether all colleges will be able to meet the NMC requirement to start this year.” Colleges are expected to receive letters this week deciding whether they can start as planned or they need to make improvements and apply again.

The dean of the proposed college said some had given early indications of rejection during the video interaction last Friday. “The NMC found that only one institute has had a dean recruited, teachers are yet to be appointed,” he said. Many colleges did not have college buildings, faculty, hostels, library with books, furniture and equipment. For instance, the NMC team raised doubts about Ambarnath College, which has integrated four hospitals to meet the minimum bed capacity requirement. Though this is a temporary arrangement till the college building is completed, the NMC found it impractical, sources said.

Another dean, who did not wish to be named, said, “The NMC felt that most colleges did not have the basic facilities.” He added that the NMC was not affected by the lack of a basic attendance tracking system. “Biometrics were not installed in many colleges,” the dean said.

In the proposed list of ten, there are plans to open two colleges in MMR: one in Mumbai (operated from GT and Cama hospital campuses) and another in Ambarnath. Besides, there are plans to open new medical colleges in Bhandara, Buldhana, Washim and Amravati in the Vidarbha region; Jalna and Hingoli in the Marathwada region; and Nashik and Gadchiroli. Each college will have 100 MBBS seats. The new institutes are central to the state's plan to open at least one medical college in all 36 districts.

However, a state official said the process of setting up medical colleges rarely involves approval after an inspection. “Once the deficiencies are identified, we will make the necessary corrections and apply again,” the official said. In contrast, the official said the state has 5,000 MBBS seats in the private sector, where many colleges face challenges with faculty and patient load but still get permission easily. “Even if the approval is delayed this year, the government has made the budget allocation, so they will be secured in 1-2 years,” he said.

The state has 25 government medical colleges with a total of 3,950 MBBS seats. While the state has set a target of adding 1,000 seats, if only three or four new colleges are approved, the effective increase could only reach 300 or 400.

Though the state launched nine new medical colleges between 2014 and 2023, many of them face challenges related to faculty and hostels, raising questions about the quality of education provided.

  • Published on July 1, 2024 06:20 AM IST

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