|OJHAS Vol. 21, Issue 4:
A Serious Compromise in the Quality of Medical Education in India by Some Recently Established Private Medical Colleges
Sanjay Kini B, Assistant Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Karnataka, India- 576104.
Address for Correspondence
Sanjay Kini B,
Department of Community Medicine,
Kasturba Medical College,
Manipal Academy of Higher Education,
Manipal - 576104,
E-mail: email@example.com .
Kini SB. A Serious Compromise in the Quality of Medical Education in India by Some Recently Established Private Medical Colleges. Online J Health Allied Scs.
2022;21(4):12. Available at URL:
Submitted: Nov 18,
2022; Accepted: Jan 12, 2023; Published: Jan 31, 2023
Abstract: Medical colleges have become a business industry nowadays, where rich businessmen in the name of trust and foundations are resorting to making huge profits by collecting heavy amount of capitation fees from students without providing quality education to them. It has been observed especially in some of the recently established medical colleges, that the regulations laid by National Medical Council are flouted, and these medical colleges are run with very little patients in the hospital, poor infrastructure and huge number of "Ghost faculties", who are available only during the time of inspection by the regulatory authorities. The regular faculties who are working are overburdened with teaching work, and are also denied relieving and experience letter if they submit their resignation. There is a great need for the regulatory authorities to have a strict scrutiny on such institutions and implement remedial measures to correct these irregularities.
Key Words: Medical education, Business, Capitation fee, Ghost faculty
Though the MBBS seats have increased in India, the fact remains that it is unaffordable for the poor and middle class society. It is a serious cause of concern that the medical education has become a business in India for rich and influential businessmen and the regulations of medical education has been thoroughly compromised. The amount one has to pay to get an MBBS degree from private medical college has skyrocketed in the recent years. Off late these institutes charge an annual fee of between Rs 1.8 million to Rs 3 million. For a five-year course, that works out to a cost between Rs 9-10 million. For the poor and middle class, India's medical education is becoming a debt trap and the government is doing very little to regulate the fees in these private medical colleges.
The commercialization of medical education in India has started over the last decade in leaps and bounds. On record most of the private colleges are run by trusts or charitable societies. But factually most of the private colleges have made illegal profits through high capitation fees, hugely inflated tuition fees and other charges which are an open secret.
Medical education in some of the recently established private medical colleges have turned into a shady and cynical commerce due to the fact that such medical colleges are violating the basic norms of training established by Medical council of India (MCI)/National Medical Council (NMC). These teaching hospitals are functioning with inadequate patients in both out-patient and in-patient departments of the hospital. When the authorities from regulatory bodies like the National Medical Council reach these institutions for inspection, the management of these institutions will be informed prior hand by agents or middle men, so that these medical colleges hire daily wage labors from nearby villages and admit them in the wards as patients, thereby manipulating the data in admission records[4,5]. Hence it is an open truth that these private medical colleges in India have been built purely for business purpose, where no good infrastructure or treatment is available.
Another major issue that requires serious attention and scrutiny by the regulatory authorities is the presence of "Ghost faculties". The MCI/NMC has laid down the criteria of minimum number of teaching staff required in each departments of the medical college. Especially some of the recently established private medical colleges do not have the required number of staff. These medical colleges try to hide their shortcomings and cover-up the lapses by resorting to trick setting-up by hiring fake faculty, who are present only on-papers and are not available either to treat patients in the hospitals or to teach the medical students. These on-paper faculties or "ghost faculties" will be called on the days of inspection by the authorities and are shown as full time faculties in these colleges. Fake records pertaining to their teaching schedule, attendance, salary pay slip and other relevant documents are created. Some of these private colleges have more than 50% ghost faculties whose services are neither available to patients nor to students[7-9].
Because of the presence of these ghost faculties, the regular faculties are overburdened with teaching work. This makes the regular faculties resign and move to other institutes, which again causes shortage of faculties in the aforementioned colleges. One of the challenges faced by the faculties working in such colleges is that if they are submitting their resignation, they will be denied of approving it and will not be provided with relieving letter or experience certificate, stating the reason that their resignation will not be accepted till the next set of inspections by MCI/NMC is over.
Recommendations to check the problem of ghost faculties
- Digital registry of medical college faculty should replace the current practice of physical submission of faculty declaration forms. Keeping a centralized digital record will ensure medical faculty is associated with only one medical college.
- Biometric attendance of medical faculty and other staff at all medical colleges should be made compulsory. This should be a centralized biometric system where attendance will be tracked by National Medical Council at central level on daily basis.
- Biometric attendance should be installed in all the classrooms in medical colleges so that the teaching hours of all the medical college faculties can be verified by National Medical Council during inspection.
- Thorough investigation with regards to attendance, salary slip, income tax returns should be done mandatorily by the regulatory authorities during inspection.
- Penalty should be imposed on doctors posing as ghost faculties and also the Dean of such medical colleges.
It is a disturbing fact that the fate of human life will finally depend on hordes of doctors who have passed out of colleges where there was no one to teach or guide them adequately. Strict implementation of measures by the National Medical Council to curb the menace of ghost faculties is the need of the hour.
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