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Cabinet failure to address issue lamented

YET ANOTHER Cabinet meeting went by without any decision on new recruitments or regularisation of contractual employees of government medical colleges, which are facing de-recognition threat following the Medical Council of India (MCI) recommendations. The only decision in connection with this taken by the Cabinet on Tuesday was increase in the retirement age of the allopathic medical teachers from 62 to 65.

india Updated: Jan 04, 2007 17:02 IST

YET ANOTHER Cabinet meeting went by without any decision on new recruitments or regularisation of contractual employees of government medical colleges, which are facing de-recognition threat following the Medical Council of India (MCI) recommendations. The only decision in connection with this taken by the Cabinet on Tuesday was increase in the retirement age of the allopathic medical teachers from 62 to 65.

The proposals to regularise contractual employees has long ago been sent by the Director (Medical Education) for approval by the Cabinet.

DME Dr V K Saini said what now remains is the Cabinet stamp to meet the long-pending ‘deficiency’ in teaching staff at all medical colleges, including the MGM Medical College here.

The MCI report had pointed out deficiencies about teaching staff, infrastructure, equipment, hostels and other facilities at all five medical colleges. There are a little more than 28,000 doctors registered with the State Medical Council, which translates to a very poor ‘number of doctors/population’ ratio of less than two.

On one hand, the State Government plans to open a new government medical college at Sagar and also gives permission for a new college in the private sector, and on the other hand, apparently it is not serious in maintaining the recognition of its existing government medical colleges as per the MCI norms.

Welcoming the increase in retirement age, Dr Saini said, “We would now be able to retain the senior staff till we get the new batch ready three years later. Apart from this, at the Deans’ meeting on December 29 the State Government has been asked to create 1028 new posts, 90 per cent of which are for paramedical category including all cadres like lab technicians, librarians etc.”

“We have forwarded a combined proposal for all five medical colleges which asks for a budgetary provision of Rs 40 crore for new posts, infrastructure and equipment and other facilities,” he told reporters and added, “MGM Medical College and M Y Hospital here being the largest facility, our share would be the largest to the tune of nearly Rs 15 crore.”

Dr Saini, who claims to have a clear cut plan for next three to five years about how and from where teaching staff requirement would be met, said, “Of the 36 posts vacant, 18 can be filled through departmental promotions. It’s just a matter of days for the Cabinet approval and we would be able to regularise all contractual teaching staff, that would mean 60 persons can be made associate professors, who can enjoy benefits of the government job sans pension. This gives us space to recruit new contractual staff, albeit under rules of autonomous body.”

“And by the third year, we would have a fresh batch of non-clinical MSc persons who have taken admission this year. It’s very hard to find staff for non-clinical subjects. Increase in retirement age would enable us to retain this staff too,” Dr Saini, who is also the DME, said and hoped, “If all goes well, by January 2009, we would be able to meet the demand 100 per cent.”

To a question about infrastructure lacunae, he said, “We have been able to carry out lot of changes since 1997, after the College became autonomous. Now how do you expect to happen in just so many years what has not been done in last 50 years?”

He also rued the unavailability of funds “all at a time” for carrying out new construction or changes in infrastructure and also for installing new equipment and hence the step-by-step development.

Not wanting to sound critical of the MCI’s fault finding, Dr Saini, who himself would get an extension for another three years now, said, “MCI pointed out at my post and also of Dr D K Jain (the M Y Hospital Superintendent). I have been appointed as the DME following a HC court order, MCI cannot say anything about it. And as far as Dr Jain’s post is considered, it is not always practical to find a person with 10 years of administrative experience. Moreover, he was the

superintendent last year too, why did not the MCI point it out then itself?” “With available resources, we impart good knowledge. The students gain vast experience. We are making doctors here and not just giving degrees on paper,” Dr Saini added.