They allow optimization and flexibility in utilizing available resources and facilitating quality education

In a significant step towards affordable medical education, the National Medical Commission (NMC) has notified its first major regulation applicable to all new medical colleges proposing to be established and to be established proposing to increase their annual MBBS intake from the academic year 2021-22.

“Titled as “Minimum Requirements For Annual MBBS Admissions Regulations (2020)”, the notification issued today 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 of Health and Family Welfare said in a statement.

According to the statement, the new regulation has done away with the quantum of land required for setting up a medical college and its affiliated teaching hospitals.

The notification further defines the minimum requirements of space for all student-centric areas in the institution and the functional areas required. All teaching spaces have now been mandated to be enabled for e-learning and also digitally linked to one another, as per the new standards.

Further, the new regulation has mandated the designation of a well-equipped “Skills Laboratory” for training students. It also defines a Medical Education Unit for training medical teachers in educational pedagogy.

In a significant step, Student Counseling services have been mandated recognizing the increasing stress observed amongst medical students and residents in recent times.

Recognizing that a well-functioning hospital is at the core of medical training, the new regulation now mandates the availability of a fully functional 300-bed multi-specialty hospital for at least 2 years at the time of application for establishing a new medical college.

The notification has made provision for “visiting faculty” mandatory to enhance the quality of training.

Further, two new teaching departments have now become mandatory in all medical college hospitals for the training of undergraduate medical students.

“These include the Department of Emergency Medicine and will ensure access and prompt, an appropriate response to emergencies particularly trauma; and the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation which shall fill a large gap for those in need of comprehensive rehabilitative care,” the notification read.

The Regulation has also outlined “desirable” and “aspirational” goals beyond the minimum requirements stated in the standards so as to stimulate medical institutions to strive for excellence. These elements will be utilized by the National Medical Commission while rating the medical institutions in the country.