Medical Council of India’s decision to reduce the teaching staff in medical colleges is drawing flak from the medical fraternity. The apex governing body has increased the number of post graduate seats in the medical colleges on one hand while on the other it has slashed off the faculty positions. It has also relaxed staff requirement norms which will adversely affect both teaching quality and patient care, especially in government medical colleges (GMCs). A large section of teachers believes that the change in norms is being done only to suit private medical colleges.
Dr. Manish Shrigiriwar, associate professor of forensic medicine at Indira Gandhi Government Medical College says that the MCI should rethink the issue. “GMCs are working hospitals with high patient load. Teachers here are also required to do a lot of medico-legal work. Reducing the staff to a bare minimum of just one professor and associate professor or one lecturer for 100 seats will have serious repercussions. One solution to the problem could be different norms for government and private colleges and working and non-working hospitals,” he said.
The reduction in faculty will create more problems for bigger colleges where there will only be two teachers in a department to handle all the students. The main aim to increase PG seats was to generate more teachers. It’s because students who opt for a PG course in para-clinical and non-clinical subjects take up teaching as a profession. They cannot have private practice in these subjects. There are academicians who are opposing the overall reduction in teaching staff of all courses.
Dr P. G. Dixit, professor and head of forensic medicine at GMCH and the MSMTA president of college says, “Isn.t it surprising that MCI is increasing the PG seats and decreasing teachers? MCI insists on small group discussions which would, in fact, require more teachers. It also wants senior teachers to teach. How will this be possible with merely two teachers in one department. The council is defeating its own guidelines by just concentrating on teaching and not patient care.”
Meanwhile, the forensic science teachers, besides teaching, also do post mortem examination, age estimation, examination of accused and victims of sexual assault, examination of difficult indoor medico-legal cases and certification, collection of blood and DNA testing, attending local courts and courts in adjoining areas, attending exhumation and spot post mortem, taking classes for judicial and police officials, giving expert opinion in cases referred by CID all such tasks will suffer too if there will be reduction in teaching staff.[Source: Times of India]