Thursday, April 16, 2009

Goa Medical College under shortage of specialists

An unhealthy situation faces the state's premier health institution, the Goa Medical College (GMC) which is currently grappling with a shortage of specialist doctors including the teaching staff at the GMC.Goa Medical College

The genesis of the problem lies in the fact that the all-India reserved quota of 50% seats prevalent in the college for postgraduate and diploma courses filled under the quota is causing the major setback with none of these students staying back in the state on the completion of their courses, eventually creating a shortage of doctors in GMC.

The above problem could lead to a breakdown of health services in the state of Goa even as the Goa health Minister has plans to provide the best health care to the people of the state. There is therefore an urgent need to redress this problem on a war footing to avoid a deteriorating effect on healthcare in the state of Goa.

Over the last many years, the students who have undergone their Post graduate courses from the college have left the GMC after completing their courses thereby creating a shortage of teaching staff at the entry level of the teaching faculty, assistant lecturer and upwards. The main departments who are affected by this attitude in the GMC include the surgery, medicine and orthopaedic departments.

The above shortage has forced the state authorities in Goa to hire the services of consultants on contract basis to take care of the vacancies, something that could go out of control if some corrective steps are not introduced immediately.. Also the threat of the Medical council of India derecognising the Goa Medical College due to inadequate teaching staff is also a lurking reality.

Around 500 students have secured admission under the all India quota in the GMC during the past many years whereas Goan students have found it difficult to qualify for all India quota to get admission to medical institutions outside the state of Goa.

Also besides the 50 percent reservation for the All India quota students, the local students are deprived of admission to Post graduate courses in line with the supreme court ruling to take institutional candidates on par as local students and allowed to take admission  without an entrance test. This has virtually denied many Goan students of admissions in the PG courses while the institutional students who do not have a 15 year domicile certificate, get a direct entry without taking an admission test.

Also contrastingly, the local Goan students are required to sign a bond after completing their PG and diploma courses to serve the local government whereas the all India quota students do not have to do so and leave the state of completion of their course at will.The local students are also penalised with a penalty of Rs 3 lakh in case they discontinue the course. however no such penalties are faced by the all India quota students

The shortage of specialists to man the posts created in Goan public hospitals is already taking its toll on Goa's healthcareHospicio Margao as the newly constructed Asilo Hospital in Mapusa is lying unused and the Hospicio Hospital in Margao facing a dearth of specialists.

There is therefore a strong feeling among the medical community in Goa that in order to arrest the shortage from pinching the state further, the government of Goa should file a review petition in the Supreme Court for disallowing the all India quota students  the status of institutional candidates.

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