Mumbai: The medical education department of Maharashtra recently wrote to the Union Health Ministry and requested their opinion on whether counselling can be held for roughly 1,100 CPS seats, citing significant gaps in the standards of institutions offering College of Physicians and Surgeons (CPS) affiliated courses.
The department mentioned the inspection of the Maharashtra Medical Council that was done last year in a letter to the Centre. MMC discovered “serious shortcomings” in a number of institutes during the inspection.
CPS Mumbai, which was founded in 1912, is an independent organisation that provides fellowship, diploma, and certificate programmes for medical professionals as well as postgraduate medical education. The term is two years for diploma programmes and three years for fellowship programmes. Practitioners are able to register as specialists in the relevant speciality after receiving the CPS-awarded qualification.
Currently, the entrance to CPS courses of more than 3,000 future medical professionals is in doubt. Admissions for the academic year 2022-2023 have not even begun, despite the fact that the Central Government has already held the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test Postgraduate (NEET-PG) Examination for 2023-2024 and the admissions for the prior session finished around mid-January.
In Maharashtra, CPS admissions had been managed by the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) for three years. The Union Ministry requested in a letter to the States dated January 12, 2023, that they begin the admissions procedure for CPS courses this year.
According to the most recent media report by the Times of India, the secretary of medical education, Ashwini Joshi, recently wrote to the Union Health Ministry and informed them of the inspections MMC conducted at some institutions offering CPS courses back in January.
The Council visited 120 hospitals during the examination, and among them, two institutes were discovered to be non-operational. While 74 institutes declined inspection, the teams that conducted the inspections for the Council found serious faculty and infrastructural issues in 44 of the institutes. According to the assessment, those institutes’ faculty and infrastructure failed the NMC Minimum Standard Requirement (MSR).
State medical education secretary Dr. Joshi claimed in a letter to the Union health ministry that enrolling students in such institutions would be bad for both their professional futures and the health system. “Therefore, you are kindly asked to provide further guidance, the letter said.
According to sources cited by TOI, the state has issued a reminder to the central government. When asked about the issue, an official stated that they could not commence the counselling process until they received guidance from the Centre.
Dr. Girish Maindarkar, the president of CPS, stated that he was not informed about the inspection, and the institute learned about the state’s letter through social media. He further added that if there were any issues with affiliated institutes, he should have been informed as the CPS president. He also raised doubts about whether MMC, being a registration body, had the authority to act as a regulatory body and conduct inspections on their institutions.
Dr. Maindarkar also expressed the importance of the council informing them of any shortcomings. He explained that the Minimum Standards Requirement (MSR) for DNB and CPS institutions differs from those affiliated with universities, and the teachers who inspect CPS institutes come from medical colleges. Therefore, they can only assess if the inspection was fair if they receive the report.
Meanwhile, CPS has written to the state twice since January, requesting that the admission process be initiated. However, while confusion persists in Maharashtra, CPS admissions have already started in other states such as Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.