Anatomy classes hit as private medical colleges face shortage of cadavers
Deccan Chronicle.| Tushar Kaushik
Lack of clearly defined procedures to secure unclaimed bodies affect private medical colleges
Private medical colleges in Hyderabad are having difficulty teaching anatomy due to a shortage of cadavers. (Representational Image)
Hyderabad: Private medical colleges in the city are having difficulty teaching anatomy due to a shortage of cadavers. The availability of cadavers in medical institutions for teaching has been plagued by long-standing allegations of corruption and a lack of clearly defined procedures to secure unclaimed bodies from morgues.
Since the Medical Council of India — now the National Medical Commission — mandated that each class receive one cadaver for study, the demand for cadavers has risen. Some private medical institutes have to pay large sums for a cadaver in the city.
According to Dr Mahender Reddy, head of the forensic department at Kamineni Hospital, private hospitals have to pay an outrageous sum of `60,000 to secure a body held at the mortuaries of Gandhi and Osmania Hospitals. Since most private hospitals rely on NGOs to arrange for bodies from rural areas, many cadavares that could have been used are being wasted at the morgues.
Prof. M. Srinivas, dean of the ESIC Medical College, saud that when he assumed the position in 2016, he attempted to obtain cadavers for the hospital by contacting the forensics and police departments, but was unable to do so. "I then realised that certain people were receiving bodies at a higher cost. They entirely ceased providing bodies once this corruption was made public," he claimed. Prof. Srinivas ultimately needed to obtain a cadaver from New Delhi.
Currently, the state government does not have any regulations requiring that unclaimed bodies be given to medical colleges. Municipal corporations cremate unclaimed bodies after completing due procedure.
"We are trying to devise some way of liberalising the practice so that bodies which are not examples of mysterious deaths can be used for dissection," said Dr K. Ramesh Reddy, director of medical education. Right now, the only way to obtain corpses is through donations, he stated.
President of Telangana state JUDA unit Dr N. Karthik said the GO pertaining to acquiring cadavers was being amended to make the process simpler. "Many medical colleges are coming up in the state now, and all of them will need cadavers," he said.