New Delhi : The Centre’s publicised scheme to upgrade 58 government district hospitals into medical colleges has come cropper due to an acute shortage of the teaching faculty. The Health Ministry has sought to overcome this handicap by proposing to allow practicing private doctors and consultants with 8 to 10 years of practice to teach medicine in these institutions.

The proposal, however, is not for the private medical colleges but only for the government medical colleges, all located in remote and hitherto under-served areas. Its implementation will require amendment in the Medical Teachers Eligibility Qualification Regulations that allow only academically qualified medical faculty cadre of assistant professors, associate professors and professors to teach medicine.

The regulations require a postgraduate in medicine with one-year senior residency to be an assistant professor while those from among them are promoted as associate professors after four years of teaching experience and two research papers. One is promoted to the next post of professor on four years of teaching as associate professor plus two research papers.

The corporate hospitals are putting pressure on the ministry to extend similar relaxation to the private medical colleges to allow their consultants also to teach. Unable to source teachers under the existing resolutions, the corporate hospitals did not show any interest in setting up medical colleges on their campuses.

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