Published: 06th October 2017
Kottayam Government Medical College set to lose recognition for MBBS course for non-compliance after MCI report
In a letter to the GMC, Kottayam, the Medical Council of India cited ten reasons for the move post an inspection earlier this year
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 a month 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 letter stated "in view of the above (reasons), the executive committee of the Council decided not to recommend continuance of recognition of MBBS degree granted by Kerala University of Health Science (KUHS), in respect of students being trained at GMC, Kottayam, and further decided that the institute be asked to submit the compliance after rectification of the above deficiencies within one month".
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
Jose Joseph, Principal, GMC
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 lose their recognition.
Interestingly, the MCI decision comes at a time when the Directorate of Medical Education (DME) is planning to scale down the qualifications required for 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 further worsen.
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 halls are smaller than required. This apart, MCI also pointed out the absence of dieticians and the 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.