NGO moves HC for raising medical postgraduate seats

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Mumbai, Apr 27 (UNI) A non-governmental orgnisation (NGO) has filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Bombay High Court seeking direction to the state to restore the medical postgraduate seats as were existing in the year 2001.

The seats at the moment number 411. The NGO, in its PIL, has urged the High Court to direct the state government to restore the number of seats in the medical postgraduate courses to 1906.

The PIL has been filed by the Peoples Health Organisation (India) and will come up for hearing this week for admission before a division bench headed by Chief Justice Swatantra Kumar.

The state resident doctors, interns and medical students had gone on a strike from April 12 to April 20, protesting against the reduction in the seats.

In the PIL, it was submitted that the state goverment in an arbitrary decision through a letter dated April 4, had curtailed the medical postgraduate seats to as low as 22 per cent of what was offered in 2001, using the excuse of de-recognition of several seats by the Medical Council of India (MCI).

The state had reportedly urged the MCI to grant one-time recognition to all postgraduate courses started on or before 1992, because those colleges were established strictly as per MCI guidelines.

The PIL alleged that before reducing the number of seats, the State and the MCI had not followed the rules and regulations as per Section 19 and 20 of the Indian Medical Council Act.

If the infrastructure, patient-load and teaching in the state medical colleges were adequate for 1906 postgraduate seats in 2001, it is difficult to appreciate that it has gone down by almost 80 per cent in this so-called progressive state, the PIL states.

There are certainly reasons beyond our comprehension and needs to be sorted out urgently to restore dignity of medical profession and sanctity in health care of masses, the PIL further states, adding the most adversely affected by such irresponsible policies and negligence is the common man and the medical students who pass out in large numbers every year.

It was prayed to the court to restore the postgraduate seats to the 2001 status by making the teacher-student ratio of 1:2 per year, fill-up vacancies in teaching staff and their time-bound promotions, raising retirement age of teachers to 65 as per the MCI norms and upgradation in infrastructure of hospitals as well as revamping medical education.

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