New Delhi: The medical fraternity was indeed ecstatic, when in the recent budget announcement, the Finance Minister was seen specifically mentioning that 5000 PG seats shall be added in the field of Medical Education. The announcement also coincided with the amendment of the Post graduate Medical Education Regulations, 2000, where the amendment relaxed the norms on the number of PG students that can be admitted under a professor
” provided that in public funded government medical colleges the teacher: student ratio shall be 1: 3 for professor and 1:2 for Associate Professor if the associate professor is a unit head in all clinical subjects”
Following the the MCI was seen writing to the respective medical colleges to inform the apex council about the details of the teaching faculty. The Jt. Secretary Health also wrote to the medical colleges asking them to furnish the relevant information to facilitate the seat increase
The Ministry has requested MCI that in Government Medical Colleges in the Departments of Medicine, Surgery and OBG which are already running PG courses, minimum of 6 PG seats and 4 PG seats in all other clinical departments may be granted effective from academic session 2017-18. This may be done by MCI as one time measure. There is usually no dearth of clinical material in government hospitals. Besides, other than the minimum seats as above, MCI has also been requested to compute the admissibility of PG seats as per the revised norms and the actual availability of units/faculty in the department.
The letter went to request the medical colleges to furnish the requisite information on unit/faculty availability to MCI by 15.02.2017 to facilitate the decision, with a copy to DGHS and this Ministry.
RML Takes the Lead
Taking the lead following the notifications, PGIMER/RML Hospital immediately sent the requisite documents to the department to take advantage of the increase in PG seats. Confirming the news, Dr Rajeev Sood, Dean, PGIMER informed Medical Dialogues, ” We have sent all the documents to the Medical Council of India. We are hopeful that with the new amendment, PGIMER would be able to get a seat increase in PG seats from 141 to 289 from this academic year. “
Other medical Colleges Lagging behind
While RML hospital quickly jumped at the opportunity to offer more medical seats, the same could not be said for the other medical colleges in the capital. It is reported that despite repeated reminders, barring RML/PGIMER, no other medical college has yet responded to the council.
This decision, has indeed agitated the students, who are shocked at why the colleges are throwing away this golden opportunity. The students have now gathered under the umbrella, PG JAC (PG Joint Action Committee) are demanding response from the colleges, as to why this is not being done.
Speaking to Medical Dialogues team, Gaurav , MAMC said, “We are happy that RML has applied to take advantage of the PG seats increase, but are extremely shocked as to why other medical colleges are not doing so. We are strongly against this laxity shown by other medical colleges and are indeed going to oppose this. Such opportunities come once in a lifetime, and its amazing how medical colleges in Delhi are throwing it away.”
Another Medical Student, Himanshu, UCMS said, “On one hand, the government is coming out with promises that PG seats will be increased by 5000, and on the other hand, this is happening. Either the government is lying, or they have not communicated the same message to medical administrators.”
Following student agitation, many medical colleges were seen announcing that while this will be done, the said paperwork would take some time .The matter indeed becomes complicated as while teacher: student ratio change would call for an increase in seats medical colleges, many colleges do not have prepared with the infrastructure to accommodate the additional students . “We don’t have enough classrooms, infrastructure and neither the financial clearance from the government at the moment to support the increase. How will we accommodate the additional students?” said a professor at a medical college, not wishing to be named.
Students are planning to organise a Dharna at Jantar Mantar, threatening agitation if the government does not fulfill its promise.