Medical education regulator National Medical Commission (NMC) has introduced a penalty of Rs 1 crore for medical colleges that fail to comply with norms. The NMC has specified this in a notification titled 'Maintenance of Standards of Medical Education Regulations 2023 (MSMER 2023)' that talks about high standards in medical education.
As stated in MSMER-2023, medical institutions are obligated to furnish an annual disclosure report to the corresponding board, which may seek additional information "as and when deemed necessary" to assess whether colleges are following the norms. The NMC said it will be the duty of the medical college to furnish the information.
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"If it doesn't comply with the rules and regulations mentioned, the board would either penalise the medical college or medical institution and/or conduct further enquiry into such act, the notification read. The penalty amount specified in the document is up to Rs 1 crore. Apart from this, Rs 5 lakh will also be charged from the faculty/Head of the Department (HoD)/ Dean/Director/doctor for submitting false declaration/documents/records (including patients' records). The notification added that the action will be initiated after medical institutions are given "reasonable opportunity to rectify their deficiencies".
Violations will also result in strict actions, such as withholding accreditation of medical colleges, withdrawing accreditation up to five years and halting admission to one or more courses. Such colleges may also face criminal proceedings for furnishing false information or documents.
As per reports, this is the first time that NMC has introduced such a stiff monetary penalty. The move is aimed at ensuring better compliance with norms as several government and private colleges have been facing a faculty shortage. The central government has received reports that some government-run colleges, established over the last few years, do not comply with these norms.