3 years on, SKIMS fails to recruit faculty for 39 deptts

‘Depleted doctor strength hits patient care at Institute’

ZEHRU NISSA
Srinagar, Publish Date: Mar 12 2018 10:14PM | Updated Date: Mar 13 2018 2:23AM
3 years on, SKIMS fails to recruit faculty for 39 depttsFile Photo

For the past three years, the Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) here has failed to complete recruitment for faculty positions in 39 specialties which is adversely affecting patient care at the premier institute.

In July 2015, the SKIMS advertised posts of assistant professor and professor for its 39 specialties. For next one year there was no urgency shown by the authorities to fill up the posts. In September 2016 these posts were re-advertised and almost a year later interviews for these key positions were finally started in August 2017.

The interview process was criticized right from the beginning as many were getting postponed due to “non availability of chairperson apical selection committee”. Questions were also raised by heads of some departments about the recruitment process asserting the guidelines and the procedure cleared by the SKIMS governing body, the highest decision making body headed by the chief minister, for recruitment were flouted. The allegation had “forced” the chief secretary, who is also chairman of SKIMS apical selection committee, to cancel the interviews.

“By the time the process was stopped at least 23 departments had been covered,” said an official.  

Two months after the interviews were stopped the institute started the exercise again. “This time the interviews were held for six departments, in one day,” said the official.

Today, almost three years have gone by since the posts were advertised, interviews for the advertised positions are yet to be held by 11 departments. Even the candidates who have appeared in interview already are also uncertain as to when the selections will be made.

This delay has cost scores of candidates dearly who allege that failure of the institute to complete the interview process was “ruining” their careers. “For three years, we have been waiting for these interviews, which normally take one or two months to be completed at other premier institutes of India,” said a doctor who had applied in a department for the post of assistant professor.

He said that due to the ambiguity surrounding the process of recruitment, many candidates who had applied through direct recruitment had already opted for institutes outside the state.

“Outside J&K, doctors get a better pay package and even if they had wanted to stay back and serve people here, our health system is not letting them,” said another aspirant.

Director SKIMS, Dr Omar Javed Shah, said that a date for interviews would be announced “very soon”. “We are holding a meeting with chief secretary any time now. A strategy has already been devised wherein we are planning to finish all the pending interviews with three to four days,” he said.

He added that the selection list will be made public with a week of conclusion of all interviews. “Everything hopefully would be completed in April,” he said.

Today, almost all the department of SKIMS are facing dearth of manpower, especially at faculty level. As per a source, departments of emergency medicine, medical oncology, anesthesiology, biochemistry, pathology, radio-diagnosis, neurology, hematology, immunology, nephrology and many others are facing dearth of faculty.

Citing an example the source said one anesthesia doctor supervises two or three operation tables at a time, as there are not enough doctors in the department.

Recently, government had constituted a high level committee to monitor the functioning of the institute and recommend measures to improve overall functioning of the institute.

“We hopeful that the committee would come up with solution to the problems, especially how to address shortage of doctors at the institute,” said an official of the SKIMS.