Cadaver shortage tells on medical education

With the State planning to expand medical education, shortage of cadavers can prove a roadblock in both public and private colleges.

The availability of cadavers in medical institutions for training has long been an issue mired in allegations of corruption and lack of clear procedures to ensure routing of unclaimed bodies from mortuaries to the marble table in colleges. Hospital-level committees are either defunct or function arbitrarily, say students and sources associated with government medical institutions.

For instance, at Gandhi Hospital and Medical College, it was learnt that there are five bodies for a total of 200 students against a Medical Council of India norm of 15 bodies for 150 students. At least two unclaimed bodies are among those that the mortuary at the State-run hospital receives on any day, those associated with the hospital say.

A similar situation prevails at Osmania Medical College. At both these institutions, the hospital-level committees for cadaver management have been in existence for many years, but meet rarely, sources informed. The committees are vested with authority to make cadavers available to the attached college as well as private medical institutions.

“In some cases, private medical institutions are preferred over public ones as shortage is severe in private institutions. In other cases, the committees are unwilling to make a move as the management of cadavers at government hospitals has been overshadowed by allegations of corruption,” a senior faculty member, aware of the functioning of committees at government medical institutions, said.

The government has three new State-run medical colleges lined up for opening at Siddipet, Suryapet and Nalgonda. Officials say that the MCI guidelines would not hamper teaching at existing and new institutions as demonstration is the emphasis and not dissection.

“At government medical colleges, students dissect cadavers in different sessions, but as per norms, demonstration is the requirement,” said the State’s Director of Medical Education, K. Ramesh Reddy. Dr. Reddy added that efforts would be contemplated to improve availability of cadavers at private medical colleges where shortage is severe.

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Printable version | May 12, 2021 10:35:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/cadaver-shortage-tells-on-medical-education/article24362332.ece

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