WITH THE Haryana government having no control over private medical colleges and deemed medical universities, as they are autonomous bodies, its health department has in-principle decided not to allow any more such institutions in the state.
While the decision was taken at a meeting of the health department and the medical education and research department on April 5, it now requires the state government’s approval.
Confirming the decision, Health Minister Anil Vij said, “The state government has no control over the private medical universities and deemed universities and they are playing with the future of students. Our department has taken an in-principle decision not to allow private and deemed medical universities. The decision now needs government approval”.
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As of now there are two private medical universities in Haryana: the Maharishi Markandeshwar University in Mullana and the SGT University in Gurgaon.
The health department’s stand comes in the wake of the Gold Field Institute of Medical Sciences and Research at Faridabad closing down its operations earlier this year. The college ran a 100-seat MBBS course. Though the state department obtained the neccessary permission, from the Centre and the Medical Council of India, to accommodate medical students from the Faridabad college, it has taken a dim view of the situation.
In its April 5 meeting, the health department decided that even if it has to grant permission for medical colleges in the future, it would first assess the worth of the organisations behind the project and would seek bonds of anywhere close to Rs 50 crore so that in case the medical college closes down, the state government could secure students’ futures. It was also decided at the meeting that all existing medical colleges in Haryana would now be affiliated to Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS), Rohtak.
A decision has also been taken to start a six-month Radiology course for government doctors, at PGIMS Rohtak, in view of the acute shortage of radiologists. The health department further feels that rather than adopting the Punjab Nursing Council Act, it should have its own such norms.
As per the Act, for the Haryana government to form a nursing council, it has to choose nine representatives from specifically named 16 organisations, of which, 15 are still in Punjab. On this, Vij said that Haryana cannot choose its Nursing Council members from Punjab organisations.
“I have taken the opinion of our Legal Remembrancer (Secretary Law) who has said that all the decisions which were taken till date by Nursing Council are unconstitutional. But till date, no government has taken the initiative to amend the Act”.
He added, “This is a major fraud. Earlier governments opened somewhere around 170 nursing schools in the state. When the Haryana government doesn’t have its own nursing council then who is giving permission and who is taking examinations?”