MCI bars varsities from starting PG, post-doctoral courses

In a blow to lakhs of doctors across the country, the Medical Council of India (MCI) has barred all health universities from starting any post-graduate or post-doctoral certificate course this year.
The PDCC courses can be done by doctors with an MD to enable them to perform specialized procedures. "For instance, a doctor cannot perform an angiogram unless she has completed this 18-month fellowship or the PDCC course.
Banning this would prevent us from conducting this critical procedure. At a time when there is a shortage of specialists, it's ridiculous that the MCI has come up with this rule," a vice-chancellor told PG Times on condition of anonymity.
Health universities across the country have been offering PDCC courses for over two decades. "We're shocked. After allowing state universities to conduct the certificate courses for nearly two decades, it's uncertain as to what pushed the MCI to issue such a directive which will affect access to healthcare. We have no reason to believe it's the lack of confidence in universities' abilities to run such courses," said the CEO of a university.
With each of the 500-odd institutions in the country offering these courses and having their own academic calendar, the MCI's directive will throw their schedule out of gear. "About a thousand seats will go abegging this year as universities cannot admit students till the MCI completes its inspection,'' he said.
Doctors are upset by the MCI's move to control health universities. "On the one hand, the UGC wants to start innovation universities to encourage innovation in institutions of higher learning. But you have MCI which wants to control its universities. This will only threaten the autonomy of universities. There will be an overlap of authority and functional autonomy given by state governments to medical university. By centralizing every aspect of medical education, MCI will only stifle innovation and significantly affect the creation of specialized medical professionals," sources said.
Doctors and university heads say this will only reduce the number of specialists. "The aging population in India is on the rise. We need health universities to start fellowship courses in geriatric medicine to treat the aged. The MCI should only monitor medical education. It shouldn't interfere in structuring of courses; that's not its job," said a vice-chancellor.

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