Updated: February 18, 2014 1:51:29 am
A all-out war has ensued between the Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) and 101-year-old Parel-based College of Physicians and Surgeons (CPS) with the MMC’s executive committee planning to refuse registration of medical students graduating with a CPS degree from this year. The move might affect 2,500 students currently enrolled in the 44 different courses offered by CPS.
On December 27 last year, MMC had issued a show-cause notice to the CPS asking why it should not be derecognised. According to MMC, CPS follows “sub-standard process of admission and examination”.
When contacted, MMC president Dr Kishor Taori said, “CPS runs medical courses as per its own will. It does not comply with the set norms of Medical Council of India (MCI). From admission to examination, there is no third party involvement in the whole process. We can’t allow half-cooked medical practitioners to graduate from a medical college.”
The CPS, in its response on January 18 this year, maintained there was complete transparency in the admission and examination procedures and that MMC did not have authority to derecognise CPS. However, while MMC cannot derecognise the body, it can decline registration of MBBS graduates desiring to add qualifications like diplomas and FCPS (Fellowship of College of Physicians and Surgeons) acquired from CPS.
Started on the lines of Royal College of Surgeons of England in 1912, CPS has been in the limelight since MCI removed its recognisation in 2009. Dr Ajay Kumar, advisor to the MCI, said, “If a medical institute does not meet the standards set by MCI, its recognisation can be removed, but only after inspection. ”
According to Dr Girish K Maindarkar, president of CPS, the institute has been contributing in the state’s health sector by giving admission to around 1,000 PG medical students every year. Currently, Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS) and deemed universities have only 1,350 PG seats for as many as 5,400 under-graduate students passing every year in the state. With CPS, the PG seats increase to 2,350. If CPS courses are shut, the gap will widen.
In the coming years, plans to collaborate with Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Tamil Nadu are also in the pipeline, added Maindarkar. He said, “Other state governors are recognising our courses. If our doctors are denied registration in Maharashtra, we will approach the court.”
MMC’s CHARGES AGAINST PAREL-BASED CPS
No Common Entrance Exam (CET)
Dr Shivkumar Utture, executive committee member in MMC, said, “All the 138 institutes (hospitals) attached with CPS conduct their own entrance exam. We have no clue whether donations are taken for medical seats. There should be a CET so that students get seats on merit basis.”
Maindarkar said that CPS keeps a strict vigil on all admission procedures. “We demand an undertaking from student that no donation has been taken and the hospital produces the results of exam. Also, each hospital is recognised only after proper inspection,” he said. In last two years, CPS has derecognised 22 institutes after discrepancy surfaced.
Irregular Infrastructure and examination
According to MMC, students are not getting proper medical exposure as maximum institutes enlisted with CPS are small with limited facilities. Taori said, “After MCI derecognised CPS, MMC continued its recognition. But recently we have noticed that the exam and degress are solely handled by CPS with no third party involvement. Since we have to give registrations, we must be assured of quality education.”
CPS’ secretary V P Desai said, “Hospitals shortlisted ahve adequate facilities to provide the right kind of exposure. For single-specialty, we have put an eligibility of minimum 60 beds while multi-specialty hospitals must have at least 225 beds. Students get sufficient practical experience.”
Dr Pravin Shingare, director of Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER), who also happens to be a member of MMC and is placed in the advisory board of CPS, said, “Till now, the executive committee of MMC has not informed me of any such development. If there were irregularities, either the state government or my office should receive a complaint. But there has been no complaint against CPS so far.”
However, Utture said, “Our demand is that CPS must involve third-party monitoring to avoid irregular practise. If it permits MMC to monitor or a third party to assess all procedures, then we have no problem in allowing registrations.”
Currently, doctors graduating with a degree from CPS are recognised only in Maharashtra and Gujarat. If MMC follows its word for declining registrations, then the doctors graduating from CPS will not be able to practice in state.
According to Maindarkar, a petition was filed in the High Court in 2010 to get a stay order on MCI’s decision. However, the case is still pending with no concrete development. “Since CPS is recognised as a ‘scientific society’ under Indian Medical Degrees Act 1916, we have been able to run courses in 121 hospitals in Maharashtra and 17in Gujarat. MCI treats us like a medical university. However, we are just an examining body.”
Section 27(b) of MMC Act gives the council the authority to summon any governing body of medical education to furnish information on exams and courses. CPS has therefore, in its reply to the MMC’s show-cause notice, stated that MMC representatives can come to inspect the exam process.
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