Restore number of posts in medical colleges, non-MBBS teachers urge Health Ministry

Decision will address faculty crisis in institutions and help teachers, they say

November 03, 2021 03:54 am | Updated 04:33 pm IST - NEW DELHI

A year after nearly 6,000 non-medical teachers in medical colleges knocked at the door of the Union Health Ministry fearing a job crisis with the National Medical Commission reducing the posts for their recruitment, the National MSc Medical Teachers Association (NMMTA), the body representing non-medical teachers, has yet again approached the Health Ministry seeking a revision.

“We have sought for the Ministry to revoke the order. The step will address faculty crisis in the institutions and help the teachers,” said a letter submitted to the Ministry.

The representation highlighted that while teachers of clinical subjects in medical colleges are always doctors with MBBS and MS/MD degrees, there are others in the non-clinical subjects with medical M.Sc. or Ph.D.s who are not doctors but have undergone similar training and their designations range from tutor to professor and even head of departments.

“Last year, in the regulations released by the medical education regulator, the permissible intake of non-medical faculty had come down from 30% to 15% in anatomy and physiology, from 50% to 15% in biochemistry and from 30% to 0% in microbiology and pharmacology,” said the letter.

The Association members pointed out that the teachers’ eligibility and qualifications guidelines of the previous regulator, the Medical Council of India, allowed higher intake of non-medical teachers to teach pre and para clinical subjects.

Opposing this reduction, the NMMTA had pleaded with the Health Ministry to get the decision changed to address the faculty crisis and help the teachers. The appeal is pending with the Ministry and the association has called for a speedy redressal as employment of several of its members is at stake.

Dr. Sridhar Rao, president of the NMMTA, said while there has been an increase in MD seats in the non-clinical subjects, 40-50% of them remain vacant each year, which would only mean that the faculty shortage is likely to continue. “The shortages are more pronounced in the colleges located in rural, remote or hilly areas where the availability of medical teachers is generally poor. Introduction of the new MBBS curriculum isn’t a concern as all teachers are being trained to implement it.”

He also said that while rejecting a prior proposal to do away with the provision of appointing M.Sc./Ph.D. teachers, the Board of Governors in supersession of the MCI in January, 2020 had cited the shortage of faculty in the institutions.

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