Hospital Development Society set up for Ernakulam Medical College; seats under merit entrance

The impasse in the functioning of the Medical College, Ernakulam, (the new name for the Cochin Medical College, Kalamassery) will be over once the order for forming the Hospital Development Society comes into effect on Friday.

The District Collector will be the chairman of the society with the college Principal as its secretary. The executive committee of the society will include the Superintendent, the Resident Medical Officer, Administrative Officer and officials from the Public Works, KSEB and Kerala Water Authority among others. The political nominees will be appointed only after the model code of conduct for the election is lifted.

K. Elangovan, the secretary of Health, told The Hindu that the Hospital Development Society would now be responsible for taking all decisions in the day-to-day running of the college. The society will decide on the canteen, pharmacy, security systems and other issues in the medical college.

MBBS, PG and the nursing seats at the medical college here will be covered by the notification for admissions by the Commissioner for Entrance Examination. Dr. Elangovan said no separate decision on this was needed as all government colleges follow the same procedure.

It was only the staff integration that was yet to be over, he added. He also said that the Hospital Development Society would also take a call on fee structure of the existing students in the college. The students admitted in the management quota and the NRI quota till last year when the college was under Cooperative Academy of Medical Education (CAPE) pay higher fee than the merit quota students admitted to the medical college here.

The Government Order for forming the society was issued along with making free generic medicines available at the medical college, but the Director of Medical Education is yet to issue the implementation order.

As the day to day functioning of the medical college had become difficult in the absence of the Hospital Development Society, the Health Secretary expedited the order at the meeting of the Principals of government medical colleges held in Thiruvananthapuram as part of the review of Plan Fund, transfers and other issues.

In yet another decision taken earlier at a high-level meeting, CAPE will provide for the salaries and other expenses for the college for the months of April and May too. It was agreed earlier that it would be bearing the expenses till March 31.

Dr. Elangovan said since staff integration would take some more time and the model code of conduct was in place, it had been decided that CAPE would bear the expenses till the process was over in another month or so. A lot of work was involved in verifying the details of each employee at the medical college and to decide about the grade of integration, he added.

The government will reimburse the amount borne by CAPE from the time the GO was issued to take over the medical college. Earlier, the Director of Medical Education had indicated in a letter that an amount of Rs. 92 crore, similar to the expenses of Thrissur medical college, be set aside for Ernakulam medical college for 2014-15 from the non-Plan expenditure to meet the expenses. It had also said that a suitable head of account be opened for the medical college and a controlling officer and DDO be appointed for treasury transactions.

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