Surprise Inspection at 12 Private Medical Colleges Over Complaints of Lapses, 1 Shut Down

Teams of doctors constituted by the Union Health Ministry carried out surprise inspections at 12 private medical colleges in five cities that were allegedly not conforming to prescribed minimum standard requirements and shut down one of them. Show-cause notices have been issued to the rest of the medical colleges and the National Medical Commission (NMC) will decide the further course of action against them, official sources told PTI.

These surprise inspections were monitored by Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, they said. During the COVID-19 pandemic, formalities for granting approval and recognition to some colleges were done through video conferencing, after which the ministry has been receiving complaints against some of them.

“Teams of three to six doctors each were formed by the Union Health Ministry which carried out surprise inspections at 12 medical colleges alleged to have sub-optimal training and teaching programme in Dhule, Jabalpur, Udaipur, Hyderabad and Chennai since January 15 this year,” a health ministry source said. Several deficiencies such as fewer patients than what is required to run a medical college, the number of faculties not matching with what was shown on paper and infrastructural lapses were observed during the inspections.

To maintain the secrecy of the entire exercise, the team members were informed about the college which had to be inspected by them only on the day of the inspection. “The health minister briefed the faculty members and created a core team of dedicated officers and officials in the ministry to ensure that the secrecy of the operations is maintained and the inspection of the medical colleges is done as per the prescribed protocol,” the source said.

“Through this exercise, the health minister has given out a strong message of zero-tolerance towards compromising with the quality of medical education in the country,” the official source said. India has more than 650 medical colleges.

The NMC Act 2019 mandates that medical colleges conform to the minimum standard requirements prescribed by the National Medical Commission (NMC). This will be an ongoing exercise under the stewardship of Mandaviya and many more medical colleges will be subjected to surprise inspection, the source said.

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