A team from the Medical Council of India (MCI) is likely to visit the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital (NBMCH) here between 29 January and 9 February to inspect the infrastructure for the MBBS course imparted there, so that it can decide on the 150 seats for new admissions for the academic session 2018-2019. The MCI, a statutory body that regulates medical colleges and decides on affiliations and new colleges, has slashed 50 of the 150 MBBS seats at the NBMCH in the last academic session (2017-18). It cited inadequate infrastructure.

NBMCH principal Dr Samir Ghosh Roy said the MCI had informed of its proposed visit to review the infrastructure. “The MCI has informed us of its proposed visit. Necessary steps have been taken with regards to the infrastructure here and compliance with the MCI norms,” Dr Ghosh Roy said. The visit will coincide the final MBBS examinations at the NBMCH. “Apart from infrastructure, the MCI team will take stock of the faculty strength and doctors, and the process of examinations. According to the directives issued by the statutory body, an auditorium and a lecture theatre have been readied.

We are concerned about whether there will be faculty deficit during the inspection,” said a senior doctor. The NBMCH had received the MCI go-ahead in June 2016 on admissions for the fourth batch of 150 MBBS seats provisionally for the academic session 2016-2017. The Union ministry of health and family welfare had granted 50 additional MBBS seats to the NBMCH for 2015-2016.

The West Bengal University of Health Sciences had informed the NBMCH in June 2015 that the seats had been granted provisionally for one year (2015- 2016). The 50 MBBS seats were granted to the premier health institution of north Bengal in 2013 in addition to the earlier 100 seats.

Expressing concern over the infrastructure, the MCI had asked the authorities to upgrade the infrastructure for the additional seats and taken back the additional seats in 2014 after the college failed to comply with the infrastructure up-gradation directives, including setting up of the auditorium and lecture theatre. However, in the same year (2014), the seats were given back to the college with the rider that it would follow the MCI instructions within a certain time frame.