DELHI: In the world of private medical colleges and Medical Council of India’s inspection of these colleges, doctors who are assistant professors in one inspection can become resident doctors in the next. Despite this fraud being pointed out to the MCI, no action has been taken so far.
In a letter to MCI president Dr Jayshree Mehta on November 26, 2015, Prof Raj Bahadur, vice chancellor of the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences pointed out that three declaration forms of faculty approved by the MCI assessors in Maharishi Markandeshwar Medical College and Hospital, Kumarhatti, in Solan, Himachal Pradesh were found to be faulty.
Prof Bahadur, who is a member of the ethics committee of the Punjab Medical Council, said that in a committee meeting, they found that Dr Dinesh Kumar and Dr Barinder Pal Singh who were shown as assistant professors in General Medicine at the medical college during the inspection on May 12, 2014, were shown as senior residents in the inspection on January 1, 2015. Again Dr Kulwant Singh, an assistant professor in General Medicine in the June 2013 inspection, became a senior resident in the 2015 inspection.
In his letter to the MCI, Prof Bahadur sought action. However, the MCI has not responded. There was no response from the MCI president to TOI’s queries on why the MCI assessors had missed such a glaring discrepancy and what MCI intended to do to ensure that such frauds could not be perpetrated in future.
Prof Bahadur in his letter raised questions about why the MCI assessors could not verify that the same candidates in two successive inspections were at a higher or lower designation. “The upper age limit for a senior resident is 35-40 years. These three doctors were 41, 44 and 56 years old. How come this did not alert the assessors? Either the assessors don’t know their job or they are dishonest. The forms are seconded by the head of the department, then by the principal and by the assessors. So every one of them had to be involved. It is a criminal offence of fraud and forging of documents. The MCI ought to have registered a criminal case against the college authorities or even the inspectors if their connivance is shown,” said Dr G S Grewal, PMC president.
“Since these doctors have committed that they have not filled their forms, it is surprising how the assessors have evaluated them on the day of the inspection without verifying whether the declaration form is filled by them or somebody else,” stated Prof Bahadur. He added that only three parties could be responsible for allowing this fraud — the candidate, the assessors or the institution. Interestingly, in the January 2015 inspection report, one of the comments by the assessors was that there was a shortage of about 3% in resident doctors.
The Maharishi Markandeshwar Medical College, which was started in 2013 with permission to take in 150 students, was earlier in the news for its ‘ghost faculty’ or doctors who were shown as full-time faculty and drawing full pay but who were actually working elsewhere and were visiting the college once in a week to 10 days. In this case too, no action has been taken by the MCI yet.