During a general body meeting of the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) faculty association, a woman doctor burst into tears after she was asked to vacate an accommodation provided to her on the institute campus.
The PGI staff has been facing a shortage of housing for decades now. Three main issues were discussed in the meeting.
“A woman knows how difficult it is to live with a family that has a newborn child and dependent elderly parents as members. My father is suffering from movement disorder and is admitted here. I have received a letter giving me two days to vacate,” she said.
She said, “The committee chairperson has given us moral support but that will not help me. I need a house. I have received a number of letters asking me to vacate the accommodation without providing any alternative.”
“I have been asked to vacate the house because it is given to those with a lower grade pay,” she said. A PGI administration official said, “Over the last 20 years, the faculty strength has increased from about 150 to over 425, but not even a single new faculty house was constructed during this period. There are nearly 125 faculty houses while the rest of the doctors are living on rent.”
He said the problem is not limited to faculty only. “Hardly 20% nursing staff has houses. Technicians and ward attendants are also struggling to get houses, he said. “While the number of employees have increased manifold, the number of houses has not been increased. The staff anger is genuine.
Moreover, the housing rent allowance (HRA) given to the staff is not sufficient for them to afford a decent house outside,” he said.
Dr TD Yadav, president, PGIMER Faculty Association, said the administration is proactive in recruiting faculty but is not paying any heed to their needs. Over 250 faculty are forced to stay on rent outside the campus. “If proper measures are not taken, the PGI faculty will be forced to resort to protest. We will take a call on this in the next meeting,” said Yadav.
‘MAKE OTS FUNCTIONAL’
“The PGI administration should make all operation theatres (OTs) functional that are nonfunctional like in OPD and emergency areas. Also proper OT time utilisation should be ascertained,” demanded the members of governing body meeting.
‘PROVIDE INFRA TO NEW FACULTY MEMBERS’
The PGI administration has recruited new faculty members but has not provided adequate infrastructure. “In surgical branches, new faculty members are getting just a half OT table every week. Many have not been provided with offices and in some instances a faculty office is being shared by up to eight colleagues,” said Yadav.
“The governing body in its meeting in January 2017 had sought review of existing professors’ posts which are not required by the departments. But no such review has taken place and these posts were advertised,” said Dr Yadav. He said, “At the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi (AIIMS), New Delhi, no direct recruitment has taken place after 2005 at the level of professor.”