Punjab Medical Council (PMC) has initiated action against more than 400 ghost medical teachers it had traced in three states on Monday, and it plans to suspend their registration.
The council found them on record as teachers at four private medical colleges in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, while they had practice in Punjab. During inspection at MM Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Mullana (Ambala); MM Medical College and Hospital, Kumarhatti (Solan); Gian Sagar Medical College and Hospital, Banur; and Adesh Institute of Medical Sciences, Bathinda, the council found that the head of its own ethics committee was among the ghost teachers.
PMC president Dr GS Grewal confirmed the process to initiate action against these doctors was on. “Irrespective of their status, none of them will be spared. Starting Wednesday, we are going to issue them showcause notices,” he said. Sources said the council would give the doctors 15 days to explain; and if they had shifted out of the state indeed, the Medical Council Act requires them to delist with the PMC within 30 days.
“The least we can do is ask them to get themselves deregistered, and register with Haryana or Himachal Pradesh, or whereever they claim to be teaching,” Dr Grewal said. This will be a serious consequence for the doctors. Once the registration is suspended or cancelled, they can’t work in Punjab.
Reacting to the development, Dr Raj Bahadur, vice-chancellor of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS), Faridkot, said that the problem was rampant in private medical colleges. “What kind of doctors these colleges would produce anyone can imagine,” he said. The doctors shown to be working full-time at the colleges and drawing full pay visit these institutes only once in a week or 10 days to circumvent the Medical Council of India (MCI) rules.
Medical education dept into action
Taking cognizance of the news reports, the Punjab department of medical education and research has started investigating the conduct of the Banur and Bathinda private medical colleges, where many ghost medical teachers claim to be employed. “The matter is with the branch concerned for necessary action,” said department director Dr Manjit Kaur Mohi.