Published: 11th February 2021
Why are over 800 medical super speciality seats in the country still empty in colleges across India?
The latest data available with the MCC says that 12 seats were added and another six were removed post that. Of the total 946 seats, only 146 were filled
This year, 815 medical super speciality seats (DM and MCh) will go vacant in the country, even after the mop-up interview held by the National Board of Examinations reduced the cutoff percentile. In January 2021, the NBE had reduced the cutoff percentile by 5 per cent, after a Supreme Court order, following a plea by a group of aspirants. On Monday, the court had rejected another plea that sought a further reduction of cutoff percentile and another round of interviews for specialities like oncology, pathology etc.
According to an affidavit submitted by the petitioners, only 146 doctors were enrolled in super-speciality courses across the country. The latest data available with the Medical Counselling Committee (MCC) reveals that 12 seats were added and another six were removed after that. Of the total 946 seats, only 146 were filled.
The NEET SS examination was held on September 15 and the results of the same were declared on September 25. The second round of counselling for different specialities, including cardiology, surgical oncology and virology ended on December 31. "The PIL was our last hope. With the Supreme Court rejecting it, we do not know what to do," says a doctor who does not wish to be named.
At the same time, Dr G R Ravindranath from the Doctors Association for Social Equality says that the super speciality seats in most of these hospitals have been empty for the past couple of years now. "There are so many reasons behind it. To begin with, medical education is quite expensive in our country. So there are chances of students not taking up super speciality courses owing to the inability to pay fees," he says, adding that the cost of medical education was hiked from Rs 50,000 to Rs 10,00,000 per annum. "This situation can be solved only if the entire education system is reworked. Also, not a lot of speciality courses are chosen by a lot of doctors. They will only go for specialisations that pay well," he says. He also says that Tamil Nadu alone has more than 300 super speciality seats.