Thursday, June 27, 2013

State flouts MCI guidelines in PG admissions

State flouts MCI guidelines in PG admissions

Gives 25% seats to in-service doctors.
The state government is flouting Medical Council of India (MCI), the apex body for medical education in the country, rules by reserving 25% of seats for “in-service” doctors in post-graduation courses.

The medical education department keeps aside 25% seats in post graduate courses under the “in-service quota” for its medical officers. The quota snatches 60 seats annually from fresh MBBS graduates.

As per the 2009 amendment of MCI –Post-Graduate Medical Education Regulations 2000, 50% of seats in diploma courses can be reserved for doctors in service for three years.

However, the rule doesn’t say anything about PG courses. The rule came into effect on 21 July, 2009 but Maharashtra continued to allocate “quota” to its medical officers due to “unknown reasons”. The quota was incorporated in 1996.

The 2013-14 admission notification issued by the department has reserved 61 seats in PG and 21 seats in diploma courses for doctors working in government hospitals employed by the Directorate of Health Services.

Over 623 seats in post-graduation and 175 seats in diploma courses are available in Maharashtra under the state quota this year. Equal number of seats has been set aside for all-India quota as per the NEET-PG framework.

Dr Santosh Wakchure, president of Maharashtra Association of Resident
Doctors (MARD), expressed shock over the issue. “How can the state flout MCI norms? We were not aware that this quota is illegal. By giving PG seats to in-service doctors the government is deliberately creating shortage of medical teachers and helping in-service doctors to boost their illegal private practice.”

Interestingly, in-service doctors have appealed in the Bombay high court to get more seats citing “injustice”. In the June 20 writ petition, the petitioners have said they are entitled to get 25% of seats, including all-India quota.

The HC, in a previous case, had asked the government in 2012 to clarify its stand but the government failed to do so until the doctors dragged the state in the High court again early this month. Now, the department has issued a GR on June 21 clarifying that it would be 25% of the state quota only.

Students in soup
As per the schedule declared by the Directorate of Medical Education, the first list of PG admission should have been out by June 20. But the Bombay High Court has stopped the DMER to declare the first list till further orders. This has delayed the admission in PG courses. “As the PG courses are of three years, we currently have shortage of 1/3 resident doctors,” said a JJ Hospital professor.


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