Medical colleges can now appoint private doctors, including overseas citizens, on part-time basis to teach MBBS and post-graduate students, according to a government notification. The new regulations do not apply to all AIIMS institutions, PGI Chandigarh and JIPMER in Puducherry established under stand-alone Acts of Parliament, a senior health ministry official said.
The decision by the Board of Governors (BoG), which is vested with powers of the medical education regulator Medical Council of India (MCI), is aimed at addressing the shortage of teachers in private and government colleges. The old regulation did not allow private practitioners to teach in medical colleges.
The BoG has now incorporated a new clause by amending existing regulations on minimum qualification for teachers in medical institutions.
The teachers who would be hired on part-time basis would be called "visiting faculty", according to the new regulations titled 'Minimum qualification for teachers in medical institutions (Amendment) Regulations 2019'.
"With a view to enhance the comprehensiveness and quality of teaching of both undergraduate and postgraduate students in pre-clinical, para-clinical and clinical departments, medical colleges/medical institutions can appoint additional faculty members on part-time basis who would be known as "visiting faculty," the notification read.
To encourage and facilitate the inclusion of Indian diaspora in medical education, overseas citizens of India can also be appointed as visiting faculty, it stated.
The notification states that that the visiting faculty has to possess postgraduate degree as prescribed in the respective regulations for appointment in the concerned specialty and a minimum of eight years of work experience in the concerned specialty after obtaining the postgraduate degree.
The maximum age limit up to which a person can be appointed as a visiting faculty shall be 70 years.
The strength of visiting faculty in a department for undergraduate and postgraduate teaching cannot be more than 50 per cent of the faculty strength prescribed for the concerned specialty.
According to the notification, the selection of visiting faculty members will be made by a committee comprising Director/Principal/Dean of the medical college as the chair of the panel.
The members will include the head of department of the concerned specialty, the head of department from any other specialty and at least one expert on the subject from a medical college outside the city, preferably from an institute of national importance.
Visiting faculty could include persons working in private health care, non-governmental organisations, retired personnel etc.
The college may also provide honorarium to the visiting faculty.