Faculty shortage hits GMC, hospitals

SRINAGAR: The teaching hospital of the government medical college and its associate hospitals are facing a shortage of 270 faculty members, which include entry-level posts like lecturers and those of assistant and associate professors.

“We keep on sending files to the health department, but the files take time to move and reach the public service commission. And eventually the posts don’t get advertised,” said an official at the government medical college.
The shortage of senior faculty members is proving a burden on doctors who have to teach the students, do their own research and attend to patients as well. “I have to see patients in the outpatient department, work on my thesis — because the Medical Council of India wants a professor to have a thesis published in a science journal. And then we also have to teach students. We cannot do justice to our work,” said an assistant professor at Lal Ded Hospital.
“There should be more senior faculty members so that we can share our work and focus on our particular subjects. That way we can treat our patients well and also provide quality education to our students,” he added.
According to hospital data, the sanctioned strength of the government medical college, including the general and super speciality posts, is 523 out of which only 253 posts are filled. Out of 237 posts of lecturers, 74 are regular, 24 are on academic arrangement, 12 on deputation and three are on ad hoc basis. And the hospital needs 123 more lecturers to fill the gap. Also, lecturers who have been promoted as assistant and associate professors have not yet been confirmed by the public service commission.
“I have been promoted as an associate professor two years ago, but I am taking the salary of an assistant professor because the public service commission has not yet confirmed me as an assistant professor,” said one such individual at the government medical college. The hospital data, a copy of which is with Kashmir Reader, reveals that 40 assistant professors and 17 associate professors have not been promoted by the public service commission since the past 7 years.
A senior doctor at GB Pant hospital said, “It’s a nexus. The senior doctors who are on academic arrangement don’t properly train their subordinates so that they can take up their jobs in the future. And then the hospital has to rely on doctors brought on academic arrangement.” Some doctors at the government medical college and its associate hospitals aver that “deadwood should be removed and young doctors who are well versed with the latest technology should be brought in to teach the students.”
On their part, health and medical education officials say they “have been referring the posts to the public service commission on a timely basis. The PSC was defunct for a year, which halted our recruitment and selection process. We are hopeful that this year vacancies will be filled up.”