In a major move, the newly constituted National Medical Commission has removed the provision of requirement of minimum five acres of land for setting up a medical college and its affiliated teaching hospitals while making skills laboratories mandatory. The National Medical Commission (NMC), since its constitution on September 25, 2020, has come out with a detailed list of requirements applicable for setting a new medical college, and to the established medical colleges proposing to increase their annual MBBS intake from the academic year 2021-22, the health ministry said on Saturday.
The requirement for the number of beds in a medical college hospital has been reduced from 530 to 430 for a 100-seat college, and from 930 to 830 for a 200-seat college, according to the new regulations notified. The beds required in various departments of a teaching hospital have been rationalised to align with the annual student intake, teaching time to be spent in clinical specialties and the minimum clinical material required for undergraduate medical training which has resulted in about 10 per cent reduction in teaching bed needs compared to the earlier regulations. The human resource of teaching faculty has also been rationalised under the new regulations. Over and above the minimum prescribed faculty, the provision for 'visiting faculty' has been made to enhance the quality of training, the ministry said.
The medical college and its affiliating teaching hospital should provide for proportionate additional beds, infrastructure, faculty and other human resource in any specialty depending upon the needs and patient load. The new standards have been defined keeping the functional requirements of the institution(s). These allow optimisation and flexibility in utilising available resources, and harnessing modern educational technology tools to facilitate moving towards quality education, even when resources are relatively scarce, the ministry said.
"In a significant step towards affordable medical education, the National Medical Commission (NMC) has notified its first major regulation. Titled as 'Minimum Requirements For Annual MBBS Admissions Regulations (2020)', the notification replaces the Minimum Standard Requirements for Medical Colleges, 1999 (for 50/100/150/200/250 Annual Admissions) of the erstwhile Medical Council of India (MCI)," the ministry said. The new regulation has deleted the quantum of land required for setting up a medical college and its affiliated teaching hospitals, it said.
In tier 1and tier 2 cities, hilly and north-east states and notified tribal areas, the campus could also be on two plots of land one housing the teaching hospital and the other the medical college with hostels for students and interns, the notification stated. If the campus is housed in more than one plot of land, the distance between each one of these plots should be less than 10 kms or less than that of 30 minutes travelling time.
"Provided that where the government district hospital is being considered for use as the teaching hospital of a medical college, all constituents of the district hospital, even if they are on two plots of land, will be considered as the affiliated teaching hospital, provided that the main district hospital has at least 300 beds or in Hilly and North-East states has 250 beds," it said. According to the new regulations, every medical institution shall have a skills laboratory where students can practice and improve skills pre-specified in the curriculum. The purpose of the skills laboratory is to provide a safe and non-threatening environment for students to learn, practice and be observed performing skills in a simulated environment thus mitigating the risks involved in direct patient exposure without adequate preparation and supervision.
The skills laboratory shall have a total area of at least 600 sq m for intake up to 150 MBBS students annually and 800 sq m for intakes of 200 and 250 MBBS students annually, and should have trainers or mannequins required to achieve skills outlined in the competency based undergraduate curriculum document, the regulations added.