Medical colleges relying on ‘ghost’ faculty members to pass government inspections should be more careful from now onwards, as the medical sector regulator has started cracking down on such activities in a bid to root out abuses taking place in the country’s medical education sector.
Many medical colleges here reach out to Indian doctors and pay them ‘handsome amount’ to pose as full-time faculty members during government inspections. These ‘fake’ faculty members stay here for couple of days or weeks and return to India once the assessments are over. This practice has been going on for years because faculty is one of the criteria for enrolment of new medical students and there is dearth of medical teachers here.
“We know the country lacks medical teachers. But recruiting Indian doctors to pose as faculty members will not solve the problem. So, we are not going to tolerate this behaviour anymore,” Nil Mani Upadhyay, registrar of Nepal Medical Council, the medical sector regulatory body, told The Himalayan Times.
To put an end to such abuses, NMC has sought the help of Medical Council of India. “Our president has written to MCI to give us information about doctors engaged in suspicious acts. MCI has agreed to extend us full support,” said Upadhyay, a senior aesthetician, who has previously worked at B&B Hospital.
To find out such medical practitioners, NMC has started sending list of Indian doctors enrolled as full-time faculty members in various medical colleges here to the Indian authority. “If those doctors are found to be working as full-time faculty members in Indian colleges as well, we will have grounds to prove that those medical practitioners are only posing to be faculty members here, as a person cannot be at two places at the same time. If this is proven, the Indian regulator will suspend their licences for up to five years,” Upadhyay said, adding, “Already, we have identified engagement of around 39 fake faculty members in dental colleges here, thanks to the support extended by the Indian regulatory body.”
In return for India’s favour, NMC will also trace Nepali doctors, who are posing as full-time faculty members in Indian medical schools. “If we find engagement of Nepali doctors in this fraudulent practice, we will suspend their licence as well,” Upadhyay said.
One of the reasons why NMC has taken this step, according to Upadhyay, is to improve the quality of medical education here. “Faculty is the heart of any learning institution. If the faculty is strong a college can churn out quality doctors. If not, the patients will suffer,” said Upadhyay, adding, “We are committed to enhancing the quality of medical education here and will not hesitate to implement harsh reform measures.”