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TN loses 400 MBBS seats, 100 more yet to be cleared

TN loses 400 MBBS seats, 100 more yet to be cleared
Admission to medical colleges in the state is likely to get tougher this year. The Medical Council of India (MCI) is yet to grant permission to the new government medical college in Tiruvanammalai, putting 100 additional MBBS seats in doubt.

The state loses at least 400 seats each year, with MCI refusing to restore permission to three private medical colleges to admit students due to inadequate infrastructure and lack of faculty members. MCI revoked their approval a few years ago.

With fewer medical seats, gaining admission becomes harder and the state produces fewer doctors, which makes the healthcare system less effective, academics say.

Tamil Nadu is among the states with the most medical colleges — 42, including 18 government-run medical colleges — but it also has the most institutions denied permission by MCI.

Officials of MCI said they denied permission to Tagore Medical College and Hospital, DD Medical College and Hospital and ACS Medical College. These colleges have moved the court seeking that MCI be directed to grant them approval.

The Madras high court last week asked the Centre to consider the plea of ACS Medical College and Hospital, which sought to be given the status of a private deemed university, Dr MGR Educational and Research Institute.

‘We have not decided on the course of action in this case,’ an MCI official said. ‘But if we have closed down colleges it is because they don’t have the infrastructure or teachers required.’

Academicians agree that MCI has to enforce strict rules to maintain the quality of medical education but say it is also important that the state adds colleges and seats every year so it produces an adequate number of doctors.

There has been a consistent increase in the number of students applying for MBBS seats in Tamil Nadu every year. Medical colleges in the state sold more than 40,000 application forms in 2012 and conducted counselling for 1,823 seats in 18 government colleges and 829 seats in private medical colleges attached to the Tamil Nadu Dr MGR Medical University.

The cut-off point for seats increases by between 0.25 and 1 mark each year. ‘Sometimes students miss medical seats by a few points. If we increase the number of seats, many meritorious students stand to benefit,’ said Madras Medical College Dean Dr V Kanakasabai.

Madras Medical College has applied to MCI to increase its number of seats to 250, an addition of 85 seats.
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