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Monday, May 6, 2013

Admissions in Private Medical Colleges-Home Ground of The Corrupt

Recently CNN-IBN news channel did a sting operation on some Private Medical Colleges.Number of colleges were demanding money in cash starting from 1 crore to 3 crore depending on branch in which person wanted to do post graduation.It's an open secret for all those people who are in medical field that the seats are illegally sold in private medical colleges.Following is my analysis on how the situation is and how we must deal with this situation to bring fair admission procedure in medical field.

 Link for CNN-IBN's debate over sting operation-

CNN-IBN-Medical PG Seats on Sale

 For admissions in private medical colleges,medical colleges are allowed to conduct a medical exam.They have to fill 50% of their seats by merit list and 50% seats are of management quota. Although private medical colleges are allowed to fill half of their post graduation seats through management quota,it is a well known fact that not half but all the seats are filled through management quota.The so called exams these colleges conduct are farce. In all the seats of management quota,donations or capitation fees is taken depending on which branch a student wants to choose.As shown by sting operation,prices for these M.D./M.S. seats have now reached from 1 crore to 3 crores which is taken in cash.The official fees is also in lakhs every year.If we compare these amounts with the amounts people spend in order to get post graduate degree in other parts of the world,we would find that our amounts are more than Europe and US too.Problem is they are not only more but many times more than these developed countries which are 50-70 times expensive than our country.

 It is obvious that knowledge has nothing to do with admission procedures in these colleges.The costs of these M.D./M.S. seats is so high that only super rich can afford it.Now there are 3 major problems with this system.

  •  As admissions take place based on money only,we get doctors who have less expertise in their respective field. 
  •  As they have invested so much money into it,they are least concerned about ethics in medical practice. 
  • Many of these doctors may end up looking at the administration more than focusing on their speciality as there is more money in administration of hospitals if you own a hospital.In result number of specialists will not increase as society needs it.

 As MCI and government has taken stand of giving more and more licences to private medical colleges,we can also see a trend that setting up of new government colleges is becoming a rare phenomenon.One of the most important factors is because the powerful political leaders have started their own medical colleges in Maharashtra,Karnataka and other South Indian states,they have probably pressurized state governments for not setting up new government medical colleges.All of this is being done as per old 'demand and supply' business rule.If they keep supply of M.D./M.S. seats low ,the demand increases and as the demand increases cost also goes high and high.Now as we have seen how high these costs have gone up but it is also interesting to see how fast these prices have doubled or tripled.Just 2-3 years back M.D.(Medicine) seats were sold for around 60 lakhs.Now as sting has shown,the M.D.(Medicine) has gone to 1 crore 20 lakh.And all of these within 2-3 years!! M.D.(Radiology) used to cost 1 crore 3 years ago.Now it has gone up to 3 crores!!The rate of price hike beats price hikes of all other products including oil,gold and even drugs!!

 It is not very difficult to see the relation between increase in malpractices and increase in number of private medical colleges.Right from entering into M.B.B.S. course to joining of coaching classes to becoming a M.D./M.S.,everything is super costly.Students are not humans but commodities which give you profits.In this way students are also taught to look at patients as commodities which are to be exploited as much as possible.Are there any limits?Not till the time patient is paying you!!!Because of such doctors,society now looks at every doctor with suspicion.Violent attacks on doctors is on rise.When such things happen doctor starts caring even lesser for the patients.As a result malpractices increase more.Now if the society which includes poor as well as middle classes as well as rich people ,wants themselves and their loved ones to be treated properly,then it must not neglect these illegal ways in which admissions in medical colleges are taking place.

 As the number of post graduate seats have been kept low for business purposes by neta turned medical college owners,there is shortage of specialists and super specialists in the society.As their number is less,there is very less competition at the super specialist level.The consequence is that super specialists charge super high.As they demand very large amount of money,government hospitals are facing shortage of specialists and super specialists (See Indian Express Idea Exchange on 8 April 2013 of Maharashtra State Health Minister Suresh Shetty )


Government had taken a good initiative of 'One Nation-One Exam' and conducted National Eligibility cum Entrance Test i.e.NEET exam.But private Medical Colleges have gone to court arguing that they have right to have their own admission procedure as per Supreme Court's Judgement given in 2003.As proposed by MCI ,only 50% of seats will be filled through NEET while the private medical colleges still have their management quota of remaining 50% seats.But private medical colleges want to have their own admission procedure for all the seats for obvious reason explained above.Now if Supreme Court's judgement comes in favor of NEET, then there is a possibility that atleast 50% corruption in admissions will be reduced. 

 Although the above possibility is better for students but still it is not enough.We can not argue that a certain amount of corruption is valid and more than that is invalid.We can't say that theft of certain amount is legal while theft more than that is illegal.So according to me,government should pass a law in parliament that all the admissions for medical field will be done through centralized counseling in respect to ranks one has acquired in NEET exam.In order to secure financial interests of private colleges,they should be given freedom to have their own fee structure (which they already have).Management quota should be banned in medical colleges as medical post graduate student is different from PG students of other fields like engineering or MBA.A medical practitioner will be directly dealing with lives of thousands of people throughout his life so the quality of medical practitioner can't be compromised.Although private medical colleges may not be taking any aid from government but all of them take registration from government i.e. Medical Council of India.So if some private medical college chooses not to agree with 100% admissions through NEET,then MCI should not give registration to such a candidate who has taken admission through management quota.There is a history of court cases when private institutions wanted to refuse reservation system as they didn't take any aid from government.Governments and courts have not allowed them to go forward with their 'no reservation' policy as they have to take recognition from government,if not aid.Similarly in this case every doctor has to take registration from MCI in order to practice.If some medical colleges find the business less profitable,government should be ready to nationalize such medical colleges.

 So governments must make such provisions that all the admissions should take place through centralized counselling as per ranking in NEET..Even if they do that much,a lot of malpractices can be checked.

 I would like to end with a quote from one of the greatest brains mankind has ever seen i.e. of Albert Einstein.He says "The crippling of individuals I consider the worst evil of capitalism. Our whole educational system suffers from this evil. An exaggerated competitive attitude is inculcated into the student, who is trained to worship acquisitive success as a preparation for his future career."

 So if people don't want themselves to be treated as commodities which are to be exploited as much as possible,then they should stand in support of NEET PG supporters.

 Dr.Chinmay Kulkarni,