Mumbai: The College of Physicians and Surgeons (CPS) has been derecognized by the medical education department due to deficiencies found within its system. As a result, the CPS has asked colleges and hospitals to refrain from admitting students for any of its 26 diplomas and fellowships.
During an inspection conducted by the Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) last year, Dr Ashwini Joshi discovered several gaps and issues within the CPS. These included controversies surrounding lack of transparency, inadequate supervision, concerns about candidate quality, and corruption in the examination process.
The CPS derives the power to grant degrees under the Indian Medical Degrees Act of 1916. However, based on the MMC report, Joshi wrote two letters to the Union health ministry in January and February, outlining the state of affairs at CPS and recommending a halt to admissions for its courses.
The MMC inspection revealed that out of the 120 hospitals running CPS-affiliated courses, 74 hospitals refused inspection altogether. Furthermore, two institutions were found to be non-operational. Among the remaining 44 hospitals, severe infrastructural and faculty deficiencies were identified, along with violations of the National Medical Commission's minimum standard requirements.
In response to the report, the CPS received its first show-cause notice on March 14. Subsequently, CPS representatives met with Dr Ashwini Joshi to discuss the matter. However, further clarifications were requested, and a second hearing was scheduled for March 24. Despite these proceedings, the CPS decided to challenge the show-cause notice in the Bombay High Court. Unfortunately for the CPS, their petition was ultimately dismissed.
The state medical education department continued to issue show-cause notices to the CPS while the legal battle persisted.
The CPS attempted to continue running its PG diploma programs in pathology, child health, and gynaecology. However, the state authorities declared that the CPS could not continue to offer a single course following the derecognition order.
Throughout this process, it was clarified that candidates who had already been admitted to CPS courses prior to the derecognition would not be affected. To compensate for the loss of CPS seats, the medical education department plans to provide 800 Diplomate National Board (DNB) seats through various hospitals. These seats will help accommodate the affected students and ensure that their education and training continue without major disruptions.
It is important to note that the CPS had been offering diploma courses rather than postgraduate (PG) programs. Despite this distinction, the deficiencies and violations found by the MMC and the subsequent derecognition have had significant implications for the CPS and its ability to operate its educational programs.
The decision to derecognize the CPS highlights the importance of maintaining transparency, adequate supervision, and high standards within medical education institutions. The focus should be on ensuring the quality of education and training provided to medical professionals, which ultimately contributes to the overall healthcare system's effectiveness and patient care.
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