Faulty recruitments at new medical colleges
SRINAGAR: The J&K government has flouted Medical Council of India (MCI) rules by appointing teaching faculty for new medical colleges who are without requisite qualification.
According to official sources, the 34 doctors recently appointed by the Health and Medical Education Department to teaching positions at the new medical colleges have not worked in 300-bed hospitals, which is the main prerequisite for appointment as professors and associate professors under the MCI rules.
“Most of the appointees have been working in district hospitals run by the directorates of Health Services in Kashmir and Jammu as consultants and senior consultants. But none among them has worked in a 300-bed hospital,” the sources said.
The department had appointed them for the new teaching institutions by way of lateral entry and one-time absorption.
As per the MCI rules, consultants/senior consultants are eligible for professor posts at teaching institutions if they possess a postgraduate medical degree in their relevant subject with 18 years of working experience in the concerned specialty at a minimum 300-bed hospital.
“They should also have four original research publications in indexed/national journals as first/corresponding author,” the MCI rules say.
Similarly, senior consultants/consultants should have a working experience of 10 years in a 300-bed hospital with two original research publications in indexed/national journals as first/corresponding author to be eligible for the posts of associate professors.
However, as per official sources, no district hospital in Jammu and Kashmir was 300-bedded till April 2018. “So, no doctor is fulfilling the eligibility criteria.”
“Five district hospitals of Jammu and Kashmir, including Anantnag, Baramulla, Doda, Rajouri and Kathua, were upgradated to a bed strength of 300 on April 2018 following repeated requests by officials. Before this, there was no district hospital having this capacity,” an administrator told Kashmir Reader, quoting an official circular.
He said that technically none of the appointed teachers who joined the new medical colleges as ‘Designate Professor’ or ‘Designate Associate Professor’ for three years posseses the relevant years of experience.
Recently, the government sought postponement of inspection by the MCI of the new medical colleges at Anantnag, Baramulla, Kathua, Doda and Rajouri till April as the government is yet to fulfill their deficiencies.
Now, this violation of the rules will further worsen the problem.
Last year, an MCI team had identified deficiencies in staff and infrastructure in the colleges and had granted three months to the government to improve them.
“Many departments in these colleges are yet to get professors as per MCI guidelines to start the first batch of MBBS course as the Health Department failed to complete the recruitment process. The new appointments are also under the scanner, so these institutions are unlikely to get MCI recognition,” said an official privy to the developments.
Dr Yashpal Sharma, Director Coordination for new medical colleges, told Kashmir Reader that they are hopeful of getting the necessary approvals from the MCI to start the first academic session.
“MCI body is not that stringent that they will put us to harm. The rule of having experience in 300-bed hospitals can be eased out as there were no 300-bedded hospitals in India till 2017. So, we are hopeful of getting the recognition,” he said.