Empty intensive care units (ICUs), no faculty, locked operation theatres (OTs), and under-construction departments and buildings. This is what awaits a fresh batch of students in at least 5 out of 57 medical colleges permitted by the Supreme Court-appointed oversight committee to admit MBBS students in 2016-17.
A Hindustan Times investigation in the five medical colleges, all located 50km to 100km from Delhi, reveal some shocking realities.
KM Medical College and Hospital, Mathura and Venkateshwara Institute of Medical Sciences, Gajraula were virtually locked with no patients in wards and a non-functional OT and ICU. HT also found that patients with headache and stomach ache were admitted in a couple of wards in Venkateshwara.
While MCI norms mandate 60% bed occupancy in any college’s hospital to admit first batch of 150 students, HT found that only 10% to 20% beds were occupied by patients in NC Medical College and Hospital, Panipat, World College on Medical Science and Research, Jhajhar and Rama Medical College and Research Centre, Hapur.
KM Medical College denied that it lacks facilities, Rama College didn’t respond while others say they will work to improve infrastructure.
Former chief justice of India RM Lodha, who heads the oversight committee said the panel directed MCI to carry out fresh inspection of all such colleges which MCI had rejected, but that was not done, leaving OC with no option but to find some method to verify the compliances reported to have been done by the applicants.
“With stringent conditions imposed by the OC, it is fairly reasonable to assume that all these colleges will have no deficiency when the course commences and the students would be able to pursue their medical education,” he said.
MCI ignored the OC order on the ground that out of 218 colleges, it rejected 129 after inspecting them twice so there is no reason to inspect them afresh.