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NMC fines 5 Chhattisgarh GMCs over shortage of faculty, facilities

The National Medical Commission (NMC) has taken stringent action in response to critical shortage of faculty along with other essential resources in government medical colleges across Chhattisgarh.

According to sources, Kanker Medical College faces a substantial penalty of Rs 1 crore, while Durg Medical College faces a fine of Rs 4 lakh. Similarly, medical colleges in Bilaspur, Ambikapur, Mahasamund, and Jagdalpur have each been fined Rs 3 lakh.

The NMC has cautioned authorities that failure to comply with these penalties could result in a reduction in MBBS seats, thereby jeopardizing the accreditation status of these colleges.

During a recent virtual meeting organized by the NMC, deans and professors from all government medical colleges in Chhattisgarh participated. The assessment uncovered significant faculty shortages across these institutions. Notably, colleges in Kanker, Mahasamund, and Korba are grappling with challenges stemming from the absence of dedicated buildings.

The shortage of critical equipment, such as MRI and CT scanners, further compounds the situation. Additionally, deficiencies in laboratory reagents have been brought to light by the NMC. Following the virtual meeting, comprehensive inspections were conducted in colleges, revealing disparities ranging from classroom setups to laboratory infrastructure, thereby raising concerns among NMC officials.

The accreditation status of three government medical colleges in Mahasamund, Kanker, and Raigarh is currently under threat due to faculty shortages.

The NMC has issued show-cause notices to these colleges, demanding a response within 15 days to rectify these deficiencies. All these medical colleges alongwith medical Colleges in Korba, Durg, Jagdalpur, Rajnandgaon and Ambikapur are facing a pressing need to address faculty shortages. This issue not only impacts education in these institutions but also has far-reaching repercussions.

Raigarh Medical College has been operational for over a decade, whereas Kanker and Mahasamund have been functional for three and two years respectively. Both Kanker and Mahasamund face challenges as relatively new institutions. Additionally, neither of the newer medical colleges has its own building. The faculty shortage poses a significant hurdle in these colleges, with deficiencies noted across all levels, including professors, associate professors, assistant professors, and senior resident doctors. Addressing these shortages remains a top priority, with discussions underway to potentially transfer experienced doctors from departments with surplus staff in Raipur Medical College to these newer institutions.

In a bid to alleviate the doctor shortage, neighboring states were enlisted eight years ago to conduct walk-in interviews. Maharashtra and Odisha were specifically targeted to recruit doctors for Rajnandgaon and Jagdalpur Medical Colleges, resulting in Rajnandgaon College successfully hiring a substantial number of doctors from Maharashtra. Presently, contract doctors in the state receive monthly salaries ranging from 95 thousand to 2.40 lakh rupees. However, proposals to augment doctor salaries in scheduled areas, such as Kanker, Jagdalpur, and Korba, are currently awaiting government approval.

Director of Medical Education, Dr US Pakra has affirmed that colleges facing fines will promptly notify the government and comply with the imposed penalties. He said that following the revocation of the moral code of conduct, walk-in interviews for contractual recruitment in colleges will resume. This measure is expected to help save the accreditation of colleges. Dr. Mangilal Garg, the Dean of Kanker Medical College, has reiterated his commitment to promptly addressing concerns raised by the NMC. The Statesman

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