Hyderabad: Alleging that several private medical colleges in Telangana are collecting extra fees from medical students, the Healthcare Reforms Doctor’s Association (HRDA) has recently written to the Telangana Association and Fee Regulatory Committee (TAFRC) urging it to take strict action in this regard.
The association has also pointed out that many of the self financing medical colleges are creating dummy accounts to show fake transactions in the name of paying stipend to PG students.
Writing to the Chairman of TAFRC on Monday, the President of HRDA, Dr. K. Mahesh Kumar mentioned that private medical colleges are collecting excess fees of up to Rs.50,000/- in the name of lab fees, library fees, sports fees etc over the fixed fees by TAFRC for block period 2020-22.
Apart from this the association also mentioned in the letter how private medical colleges are opening dummy bank accounts in the name of PG students by forcing them.
Using such accounts, colleges by themselves are crediting and debiting stipends to show during inspections as if stipends are paid to PG students and showing those transactions in annual audit for hiking the fees for next block period. Referring to this, the association termed it as “illegal” and pointed out how it accounts to similar lines of money laundering fraud.
Unfortunately, the students and their parents are afraid to report the same as they in the sense that students will be targeted and will be failed in academics,” the association mentioned in the letter.
HRDA has requested the fee panel to take it as suo moto complaint and conduct enquiry in this regard and take necessary action on private medical colleges which are conducting excess fees and are involved in money laundering frauds in payment of stipends.
Apart from this, the association has also urged the Fee panel to issue directions to all private medical colleges to pay stipends to interns and PGs from now on without any kind of fraud.
Along with the letter, HRDA has referred to the case of a private medical college in the State to show that the concerned college showed an excess expenditure of more than Rs 6 crore for allegedly paying stipend to the students. The association has also enclosed the NMC guidelines for PG medical education, and relevant newspaper articles.
Commenting on this, HRDA president Dr K Mahesh Kumar told the Times of India, “There are 13 such colleges where we have proof of such fraudulent methods. They show this stipend payout as expenditure and then use it as a base to increase the fees next year. This is nothing but money laundering. Students are being forced to accept these dummy accounts as they have no choice. This has been brought to our notice by students as well parents but they are scared to report the issue anticipating the effect the complaint might have on them.”
Referring to the situation, a student told the daily on the condition of anonymity, “We were asked to open the bank account if we wanted admission. They take blank cheques signed by students. The college authorities transfer stipend money into these accounts but withdraw it within hours.”
HRDA has sent the letter to the fee panel at a time when TAFRC has announced its decision of reviewing the fee structures for Undergraduate, Postgraduate, and Super Speciality medical courses, UG and PG Dental courses, Nursing, BAMS, BHMS, Homeopathy, and several paramedical courses.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that in a recent notification, TAFRC has announced its proposal to review and determine fee structures of private unaided professional institutes in the State for the block period 2023-2024 to 2025-2026.
In this regard, TAFRC has asked the management of the concerned private un-aided professional colleges in the State of Telangana to submit the relevant data regarding the FY 2022-2023, together with the Audited Financial Statements for the years 2022-2023.