NMC probe sought over BFUHS report on deficiencies at Chintpurni Medical College
Chandigarh: Writing to the National Medical Commission (NMC), the Punjab State Government has urged the apex medical education regulatory body to probe into the functioning of Chintpurni Medical College, now known as White Medical college, Pathankot.This comes after recently, a five-member panel of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS) alleged in a report that the medical...
Chandigarh: Writing to the National Medical Commission (NMC), the Punjab State Government has urged the apex medical education regulatory body to probe into the functioning of Chintpurni Medical College, now known as White Medical college, Pathankot.
This comes after recently, a five-member panel of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS) alleged in a report that the medical college, which got the NMC nod last year, does not have adequate infrastructure and the careers of MBBS students at the medical college were getting jeopardized because of the absence of patients, infrastructure, and teachers.
While the BFUHS report has questioned the inspection report of NMC, which recently expressed its satisfaction with the facilities at the medical college, the Punjab Government has now taken cognisance of the matter.
In a letter directed to the Director of NMC, the State Additional Chief Secretary of Medical Education and Research, Anurag Agarwal has referred to the issue as a matter of grave concern and pointed out that despite earning the NMC nod, the college was not complying with the statutory regulations and guidelines.
Apart from referring to the deficiencies in the infrastructure of the medical college, the Additional Chief Secretary has also pointed out the fact that the medical college was found overcharging students beyond prescribed fees.
Expressing deep concern over the future of the medical students enrolled at the medical college, he wrote in the letter, “We urge you to take immediate action against the management of the college and ensure that they comply with the rules and regulations set by the NMC.”
The Tribune adds that the State has also urged the Apex medical commission to take appropriate action against the medical college, if it is found guilty of any wrongdoing.
“We believe that such action will not only help in imposing the quality of education in the college, but also send a strong message to other institutions that non-compliance with regulations will not be tolerated,” stated the letter.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the medical college Swaran Salaria claimed that after receiving the letter from the Government, NMC conducted another inspection and found everything in compliance with the rules, except for three or four minor deficiencies.
“Our college has the best infrastructure in the state. We have the required number of doctors. Since May last year, I have spent Rs 13.65 crore on salary and maintenance of the medical college. The government owes us Rs 2 crore for the treatment of patients but they have not paid,” he claimed.
Medical Dialogues had extensively reported about the controversial shutdown of Chintpurni Medical College after the Board of Governors of erstwhile Medical Council of India (MCI) had found that the institute was admitting students without the MCI approval ever since its inception in 2011. In addition, the college did not have the necessary infrastructure and did not provide adequate facilities for the purpose of medical studies.
Consequently, the Executive Committee of MCI recommended debarring the petitioner College from admitting students for two academic years i.e. 2017-18 and 2018-19 and to encash the bank guarantee of Rs 2 crores that was furnished by the petitioner at the time of grant of recognition dated 26.09.2016. The Central Government had accepted the MCI recommendation.
Following this, the 2011-12 and 2014-15 batch of students were shifted to other medical colleges in the state on the directions of the Supreme Court after the students sought to transfer to other medical colleges in the state. The top court had also dismissed the plea challenging the Central Government orders and had stated that the college would be entitled to pursue the permission for the academic years 2019- 20 and 2020-21 after the period of the ban.
However, last year, NMC granted its permission to Chintpurni Medical College to admit students in 150 MBBS seats after inspecting the infrastructure of the medical college.
While the apex medical regulator had expressed its satisfaction with the facilities at the medical college, the recent report prepared by the BFUHS committee has contradicted the same. The University investigated the matter and prepared the report after receiving complaints from MBBS students and their parents.
As per the latest media report by The Tribune, a five-member panel of BFUHS, led by the Registrar of the University Dr. Nirmal Ouseppanchan mentioned in its report prepared in February that on the day of the inspection of the medical college, the hospital had showed a record of 100 patients in the OPD. However, only five patients could be seen.
Further, the report indicated that the laboratories were not functioning properly and the tests were being conducted in only one room in the central laboratory and there was only one lab technician present.
Referring to the in-patient area, the report indicated that only 12 patients were found admitted to the hospital. This made the rate of occupancy as merely 1.8 per cent for 650 beds against the requirement of 75 per cent occupancy. Further, it was mentioned in the report that each of the wards had vacant beds and there was no nursing station in any ward except for one ward. None of the other wards in any of the departments were functional or functionable, the committee alleged in the report.
Apart from this, the committee also mentioned that beds in the department of medicine were haphazardly placed under a shed and other major departments like surgery, paediatrics, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, skin and VD and respiratory medicine also were in similar conditions with closed wards, no nursing staff and no patients.
The committee also mentioned in the report that there were no functional obstetrics and gynae ward and the labour room meant only one room with one bed. In fact, there was no separate areas for clean/septic cases as well. On the day of inspection, only 12 patients had been seen in one general ward, mentioned the report.
Referring to indoor patient care doctors, the committee revealed that only one doctor was available for the emergency, three ICUs and all general patients. Further, the blood bank did not have licence and it was not functional as well.
Further, the University report revealed that instead of providing single rooms to the students, the college management had put three students in each room with filthy conditions and also overcharging them.
The daily adds that the inspection report prepared by BFUHS has raised a question mark on the report prepared by the NMC. In its inspection carried out only a few days before, NMC had found the college fulfilling most of the norms. However, contradicting the NMC report, BFUHS panel found that there was a gross deficiency of faculty of around 96 per cent and a deficiency of teaching staff by around 86 per cent.
While most of the wards were found to be non-functional and unused, only 12 beds were occupied against the required minimum occupancy of 485 patients.
Commenting on the matter, the chairman of the medical college Swaran Salaria pointed out that the University inspection had been carried out on Mahashivaratri, a holiday. He further added, “Everything was found in order in the NMC’s inspection carried out a few days back.”
However, contradicting this claim, the BFUHS Registrar has mentioned that the inspection had been carried out on a working day. He added, “Even if it was Shivratri, how can a medical college function with just eight patients admitted in it.”
M.A in English
Barsha completed her Master's in English from the University of Burdwan, West Bengal in 2018. Having a knack for Journalism she joined Medical Dialogues back in 2020. She mainly covers news about medico legal cases, NMC/DCI updates, medical education issues including the latest updates about medical and dental colleges in India. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.