Promising major reforms in the Medical Council of India, the Board of Governors on Tuesday said its mandate was not only to assess medical institutions but also suggest options to improve medical education and bring about time-bound changes.
“We want to propose a purposive system in medical education and governance to ensure absolute transparency with student as our ultimate target,” board chairman S.K. Sarin told journalists here. “The number of students opting for medicine as profession has declined, and this is a matter of serious concern. We need to give confidence to the students that medical education is accessible to all.”
The board members were evolving a vision document and setting up working groups for the purpose.
The board would try to simplify the regulations so as to reduce litigation. For, a poor understanding of the regulations often resulted in people going to court. Just two weeks into the job, the six-member board has set up 43 teams of assessors to evaluate the facilities in colleges, whose applications are pending for starting new colleges or expanding the existing ones or increasing the number of seats.
“To make the process more credible and transparent, the assessors, earlier known as inspectors, have been drawn from seven most reputed institutions of the country,” Dr. Sarin said. The process of selection and assigning the States was computer-generated.
The teams were told to use their wisdom during verification, but without going into trivial things. Their reports should be made available to the board by June 16. Under the ordinance by which the board was set up, its decision will be final. The entire process would be over by July 16. So far, the board has cleared proposals pertaining to 14,897 postgraduate seats, including super-specialties.
There were 87 proposals pending when the board took over on May 15. These had been cleared by the previous executive committee, but were not forwarded to the Health Ministry. All these institutions were asked to apply afresh but the board received only 79 applications, including from the Gyan Sagar Medical College in Punjab, whose complaint led to the arrest of MCI president Ketan Desai. “We were flooded with emails, phone calls and complaints, and we tried to address these sympathetically but without allowing illegal things to happen,” Dr. Sarin said.
Promising a foolproof system to check corruption, he said: “Allow us some more time. For those indulging in corruption, the law of the land will prevail.”