Govt. hospitals pitching for super-speciality seats fake faculty strength for an MCI nod, endangering the lives of patients and making a mockery of education

Niloufer Hospital and Gandhi Hospital, both teaching facilities, are awaiting approval from the Medical Council of India (MCI) for recognition to new super-speciality seats. While Niloufer Hospital has pitched for super-speciality seats in child psychology, Gandhi Hospital has been trying for similar seats in psychiatry.

Neither hospital has the faculty strength mandatory for an MCI nod, and yet both are optimistic of a positive outcome this year.

A team of doctors from the MCI have already inspected the infrastructure available at the hospitals and enquired about the faculty strength at the hospitals. It is learnt that they have been fairly “impressed” by the arrangement at the tertiary hospitals.

When there have been no fresh recruitments, how has this state of affairs come to be?

Similar story

Meanwhile, at the Government General and Chest Hospital in Erragadda, a similar story is at play. The city’s top hospital for chest ailments suffers from staff shortage and lack of infrastructure. It is also unable to support hi-tech equipments like ventilators, which are lying idle. There are also no internal pipelines to supply oxygen to the ICU and anaesthetists needed to manage ICU and ventilators are in short-supply.

Despite all this, an MCI team that inspected facilities at the hospital increased the number of super-speciality seats in pulmonary medicine, much to the surprise of the doctors there. From two to a whopping seven! How is this possible?

‘Transfers’, doctors familiar with MCI inspections say, is the reason for such MCI approvals.

“There will be no official orders. You will get a telephone call from the higher-ups asking you to report to teaching hospitals in districts for a day or two till the MCI inspection is over. After the inspection, you are back to your parent hospital. This is no less than cheating, because ultimately, the PG students and patients will suffer,” senior doctors point out.

The ‘advantages’

While many senior health officials refuse to go ‘on record’ over the issue, they privately point out that getting super-specialty seats will ultimately help teaching hospital.

“Once the PG students complete the course, they usually stay with us. Moreover, there will be flow of funds for the hospital and also MCI recognition, which comes handy,” they point out.

Oversight

Another glaring oversight is the practice of a senior doctor holding two posts.

“Almost all senior doctors hold dual posts. They are superintendents and also department HoDs. According to the MCI, a doctor should not hold both administrative and teaching posts because they will mostly be busy with managerial works and can’t justify their academic roles,” doctors point out.

When the MCI team comes, the second professor is ‘temporarily’ made the head of the department and after the inspection is over, the superintendent takes over. There is no paper trail at all! Ingenious isn’t it?

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