Shortage of teachers continues to be a serious concern in government medical colleges.
The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court had directed the state government to fill all vacant posts by May 2009. But 184 of the 1,173 posts of lecturers in the 14 state-run medical colleges-cum-hospitals in state are still vacant.
A Bandra-based private practitioner and activist, Dr Tushar Jagtap, obtained this information from the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) under the Right to Information Act.
In its response, dated February 9, the DMER also said that 594 lecturers are permanent employees and 395 have been employed on ad hoc basis.
About 20 per cent of the 1,200-odd posts of professors and associate professors are also vacant, government officials told Hindustan Times.
“Lecturers are supposed to teach students as well as treat patients at the hospitals that are attached to the colleges. We can imagine the quality of teaching and healthcare if there are so many vacancies,” said Dr Jagtap. The DMER did not reply to Dr Jagtap’s query on whether colleges inform the Medical Council of India of the vacancies during their inspections.
Government officials told HT that some of the ‘vacant’ posts might be filled in reality. “The deans recruit medical teachers on contractual basis at their level,” said Dr Pravin Shingare, joint director of DMER.
He added that the Maharashtra Public Service Commission had launched a ‘special drive’ to recruit medical teachers last year. Candidates can be recruited on a permanent basis only through the Commission.
Commission officials said they don’t get enough applications for posts in super-specialties like neuro-surgery and cardiology despite repeated advertisements. They find it difficult to get candidates to fill posts reserved for scheduled tribes and handicapped.
A lecturer from JJ Hospital, however, alleged that the Commission was moving at a snail-like pace.
“The results of interviews for some vacant lecturer posts advertised in 2006 have still not been put up. Many applicants for the associate professor posts, advertised in January 2009, have still not been interviewed,” he said.