The Vyapam scam that sent shock waves through the width and bredth of the country has claimed another, invisible visible victim­­ — a drastic fall in the number of doctors the state produced in the last few years.
As a direct result of the scam, the number of doctors coming out of Madhya Pradesh colleges fell by an unnerving 1,008 doctors. This has further skewed the already poor doctor to patient ratio in the state.
The loss of these 1,008 doctors occured within just five years, between 2008 and 2013, after the Vyapam scam surfaced.
The 1,008 medical seats fell vacant after private and government medical colleges in the state decided to rusticate the students whose names figured in the chargesheet submitted by the special task force (STF), and the seats were later not allotted to other meritorious students, who possibly missed out because of the scan itself.
While some, like Surbhi Agrawal (2013 batch), who featured in the top 10 of the waiting list fought a legal battle to find a government seat, many others continued to study and work for another crack at clearing the medical exam.
Dr Sanjay Dixit, vice-dean of MGM medical college said, “The admissions of 89 students were cancelled. These students belong to 2008-2013 batches. No new student was sacked in the year 2014, but the damage in terms of college strength has already been done.
“The maximum number of students was sacked in the year 2013, when the scam was exposed.”
This has only added to the woes of the state already grappling with an atrocious doctor-to-population ratio. Madhya Pradesh has just one-fifth of the national average. According to official estimates, there is one doctor for 18,000 people, whereas the national average is one doctor for 3,500 people.
“When this matter was highlighted, some of the students were on the verge of completing their MBBS degree while others were already settled with their specialization choices, so an action by the MCI was done. The only downside here was that the students who were in the waiting list could not be shifted to the college,” said Dixit.
The major reason cited here was the high court’s stay on some cases. These students had claimed that they were being falsely implicated in the scam.
Ankita Sharma is among the hundred odd students who claimed innocence fought to get a stay from the high court and keep their seat at the college.
Sharma, unlike many other, succeeded. “We have managed to get permission from the court. She is allowed to continue with the course and appear for exams until the matter is decided,” said Ajay Mishra, Ankita Sharma’s counsel.