60 pc of Telangana's medical colleges are functioning without a full-time faculty and more than 10 without a principal

An increase in the number of colleges in the State coupled with no fresh recruitment in the last decade has led to severe teaching staff crunch in both government and private medical college
Representational image
Representational image

Medical colleges in Telangana are facing a severe staff crunch and some institutions are toiling to retain the Medical Council of India (MCI) recognition.

As many as 10 medical colleges in and around the city are functioning sans principals and nearly 60 per cent of the colleges do not have full-time faculty.

An increase in the number of private and government medical colleges in the State coupled with no fresh recruitment in the last decade has led to severe teaching staff crunch in medical colleges, both government and private.

It may be recalled that last year the Telangana State Public Service Commission (TSPSC) had issued a notification for recruitment of 274 assistant professors in different departments of government medical colleges, while, according to experts, the there are more than 400 vacancies. However, more than a year later no recruitment has taken place.

The Healthcare Reforms Doctors Association had last week even submitted a representation to the Department of Health Medical and Family Welfare (HM& FW) seeking intervention in the recruitment process of DME teaching staff.

"We requested that the recruitment process should be done by the Medical and Health Services Recruitment Board instead of the TSPSC. Many professors have retired and not many associate and assistant professors have got promotions. The delay in recruitment has been having a telling impact not just on the medical education being offered in medical colleges due to the paucity of teaching staff but also on patient care," said Dr Mahesh Kumar, president HRDA. "The delay in recruitment (of faculty) has already left a telling impact not just on the medical education being offered in medical colleges but also on patient care."

Students to the rescue!

Due to the paucity of qualified and experienced professors medical colleges, both government and private, are depending on senior residents and PG students to take classes for the UG students.

The Nizamabad Medical Colleges, for instance, has only one professor. The medical college has 201 sanctioned teaching staff, but currently has only 89 teaching in the college. Earlier this year, 39 teaching staff members were transferred to other places, only one doctor was allotted as a replacement.

"In the general medicine department, there is only one professor, no assistant or associate professor, or HoD. How will a government medical college which will have at least 500 OTs each day run? What will students learn and what sort of services will be provided to patients?" questioned Dr PS Vijayender, chairman, Telangana State Junior Doctors Association (TSJUDA).

He adds that PG students are suffering more due to the apathy. Students of the surgery department of the Osmania General Hospital are not able to practice since there is a shortage of operation tables. Despite this, in 2017 OGH asked for the number of PG seats to be augmented from the existing 20 to 30 and interestingly, the MCI ended up approving 40 seats.

A faculty of a private medical college, on condition of anonymity, said that in private colleges the situation is worse but students don't raise their voice as most of them are have "bought" the seats.

"All management quota seats are sold and faculty is bought on a temporary basis at the time of MCI inspection. Attendance is not mandatory in most colleges and college managements later collect huge amount towards condonation of attendance. Neither academic calendar nor a regular timetable is not followed," he said, adding, "there is a severe dearth of anatomy professors which has resulted in a new crop of doctors who do not have proper knowledge of the subject".

Doctors and medical students are also not very pleased with the government's recent decision to increase the number of medical colleges on grounds that this is not going to benefit medical services or the quality of doctors unless faculty and infrastructure is put in place in the existing colleges.

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