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Medical scam just got bigger: PG seats for Rs 2cr

The TOI report on MBBS seats sold for between Rs 12 lakh and Rs 40 lakh by two private colleges in Chennai barely exposes the tip of the
iceberg. The scam gets bigger, more brazen as medical graduates embark on specializations that are necessary for a successful career. The price this year for a post-graduate seat in radiology in most leading private colleges across the country is Rs 2 crore while in cardiology, gynaecology and orthopaedics are priced around Rs 1.5 crore.

The main reason for such high rates is the dearth of seats for PG programmes. The average ratio of undergraduate (MBBS) seats to those for post-graduate is 100:29. In effect, nearly 32,000 doctors graduate from medical schools across the country every year, and the number of PG seats available to them is roughly one-third of the requirement.

itimes: Share your experience on seat-for-sale scam

Across India, there are 9,085 seats for clinical courses like cardiology, radiology, orthopaedics and gynaecology; a mere 662 seats for pre-clinical courses such as anatomy and physiology, and 1,303 seats in para-clinical programmes like pathology, micro-biology and forensic medicine. Of these, a large percentage are in private institutions which enjoy the freedom to charge hefty donations — which means, a bright MBBS graduate with no means to pay has few options.

``In India, only 80 doctors can become cardiologists in a year, while in the US, there are 800 positions to train cardiologists. As for kidney specialists, the US has more nephrologists of Indian origin than India has. India has only 60 seats for nephrology,'' said a Bangalore-based surgeon, who has been fighting for transparent admission procedures in admissions to graduate and post-graduate seats.

``Overall, less than 10% of the graduating medical batch gets PG seats through the general (government) pool,'' said the surgeon. Most PG seats, in simple terms, are auctioned or sold to the highest bidder. It's a system of exploitation that finds its eventual victim in the patient.

A senior doctor says, ``I agree the authorities can't increase seats easily because they don't have that many faculty members. But we need to make necessary amendments to the existing law to meet our growing demand. In the US, even an 80-year-old surgeon is legally authorized to do a brain surgery but here we ask a 60-year-old to retire from teaching,'' he said.

Another senior expert, who has held prestigious posts at the national level, says he has urged the UGC to hold centralized examinations like JEE for admissions to both MBBS and PG courses. ``It's a national shame to commercialize education. Besides, death of merit affects the quality of medical education. When money is paid, these colleges ensure that the exit is definite. The students pass, qualified or not,'' he said.

Source: TOI


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