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Capitation fees of Rs 1.7 crore for a postgraduate radiology seat in a private medical college in Navi Mumbai has left the medical fraternity shocked.
With over 10,000 postgraduate aspirants fighting for a little over 1,100 government seats across Maharashtra the scarcity is pervasive. Of these, only 250 seats belong to trendy subjects. The dearth of postgraduate government seats is mainly to blame for seat sale by private colleges, said Dr Farhan Hamid, general secretary, Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors. Pravin Shingare of the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) denied knowledge of the seat sale. Nevertheless, he said the demand for private seats had skyrocketed because of a dearth of government seats. Government colleges are losing out on postgraduate seats for want of teachers (a decade ago, the state had 1,900 postgraduate seats).We are looking at the problem. He said subjects like radiology and orthopedics were the most preferred because medical practice today is strictly evidence-based as opposed to being clinical based till a few years ago. Kishor Taori, a former president of the All India Radiological and Imaging Association, said radiology is the youngest branch of medicine and also the most advanced. Radiology has gone to the level of becoming an industry. Today, several radiologists are coming together to start their own diagnostic centres to compete with corporate hospitals. Over the years, subjects like general medicine and surgery have gone down the ladder of preferences also because these branches need further specialization for doctors to make the most of them. It all came to a head recently, when a student of anaesthesiology at the civic-run Sion Hospital committed suicide after failing to get a seat in paediatrics. The competition is more ruthless when it comes to super-specialty seats, said a senior state official. Medical students say the price tag of private seats in courses like neurology, gastroenterology, cardiology and nephrology is as much as Rs 2 crore. To curb this grey area in medical education, a single entrance test can go a long way, said Dr KS Sharma, a member of the board of governors of the Medical Council of India (MCI).
Courtesy: Times of India
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