Thursday, August 21, 2014

MBBS Students in the Lurch

The New Indian Express (Bhubaneswar), Aug 21, 2014
BHAWANIPATNA : Uncertainty looms large over the fate of first batch of students who took admission to the MBBS course of Sardar Rajas Medical College and Hospital, set up by Tamil Nadu-based Selvam Education and Charitable Trust at Jaring in Kalahandi district. While the medical college has no adequate faculty and infrastructure, the hospital functions with skeletal staff.
The medical college has been virtually lying closed since May after re-examination was conducted for the first year students. Though three months have passed since the examination, the college is yet to reopen for classes.
The Medical Council of India (MCI) had approved 100 seats for the medical college for 2013-14 academic session with the condition that it would meet infrastructure and staff requirement. Accordingly, medical college went ahead with the admission to the seats.
However, this year, the MCI barred admission to the medical college as infrastructure was not upgraded and staff strength was not increased. Following this, a team from the Western Odisha Development Council (WODC) recently visited Sardar Rajas Medical College and Hospital and reviewed the situation. They expressed concern over the sorry state-of-affairs.
On April 1, 2004, the MoU was signed between Selvam Educational and Charitable Trust and WODC to set up the medical college and hospital. After prolonged public agitation, the construction work of the medical college was started.
For the `100-crore project, it was agreed that WODC would contribute `10 crore in eight installments on the basis of progress of the work and the State Government would provide 25 acres of land on lease. The Selvam Trust constructed a building for the medical college and hospital, hostels for students and other structures. However, the project ran into problems.
Though the hospital has 300 beds, it lacks adequate medical staff in most of the departments and infrastructure facilities. The MCI representatives visited the site twice in 2011 and once in 2012. The medical college failed to get MCI approval as it lacked infrastructure and staff.
The trust had earlier declared that admission would begin for 2008 academic year. Even then, members of MCI had expressed their reservation over the number of doctors and other facilities in the hospital.
Protesting the sorry state of affairs in the college, the locals staged demonstration several times in the past. They demanded intervention of the Government to ensure functioning of the college as per schedule.
Chairman of WODC, Kishore Mohanty, said the committee during its visit found lack of basic infrastructure, teaching and medical staff. Even the hospital is non-functional. “The State Government will be apprised of the situation and requested to take over the institute for public good,” he added.

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