Assam's premiere medical institute may face recognition cancellation threat

Lack of infrastructure, funds and adequately trained manpower would likely to force the Medical Council of India (MCI) to issue a final order of cancellation of recognition this time, if the State Government doesn't take steps to revive the institution within a very short period.

"Few years ago, the student union and professors of the college fought with the MCI when the MCI issued order of cancellation of recognition of the college. But this time the MCI wouldn't spare us," said Debotosh Paul, general secretary of the college student union.

Silchar Medical College, which is a State Government run institute founded in 1968,has at present 6 post graduate courses in clinical subjects and a total of 22 departments. Though the PG courses were started way back in 1985,the departments have shortage in faculty members and no super specialty cares. The college has at present 32 vacant posts of professors and associate professors in PG, pre-clinical and para-clinical levels.

The pre-clinical and para-clinical departments are also in a precarious condition. Sources said that due to shortage of faculty members, the demonstrators deliver lectures in the classes though as per the MCI regulation, they are not entitled to do so.

The much needed CT Scan machine, Ted Meal Test machine, Holters Cardiograph machine and Blood Gas Analyzer machine are yet to be installed. Rezaul Hamid, editor of the SMC's student magazine, pointed out, "We are not able to do practical works in such super special cares due to non-availability of such machines, while our counterparts in Gauhati

Medical College and Assam Medical College in Dibrugarh are doing all these."

The plan to start some of the super specialty departments like neurosurgery, plastic surgery, traumatology, hematology and some wings of orthopedics have recently been shelved due to fund crunch, sources added. The common but sophisticated surgery techniques like pin-hole, lithotripsy and some important surgeries relating to kidneys are not being performed due to non-availability of specialists. The principal in-charge of the SMC, DR. NK Purkayastha, despite repeated requests by this correspondent, declined to comment on the issue. When asked about the amount received out of Rs 4 crore grant issued by the North Eastern Council early this year for building 40 sophisticated paying cabins and the progress of the work, he gave no satisfactory reply.

The college cum hospital at present has inadequate departmental buildings, hygienic condition is pathetic, no ambulance survice of its own, no medicine supply facility. Two of the German made mobile operation clinics provided by the WHO with a cost of Rs 50 lakhs are now lying useless. The condition of the two students' hostels are also pathetic." there are no hygiene, deplorable lavatory and acute crisis of water and no banking facility inside the college campus," said Debotosh Paul, the GS of the SMC student union.

SURAJIT TALUKDAR, Silchar