Boost to health sector needed
The state of affairs in the newly approved medical colleges in Jammu and Kashmir, which are five in number finally seems to have got the governments attention. The new medical colleges will be made fully functional as the state government has called for expeditious completion of all necessary infrastructural and other facilities to ensure that the new medical colleges in the state start functioning from the next academic session.
With the government’s approval a process for fast-tracking recruitment of faculty and para-medical staff and completing all necessary requirements to fulfill the MCI norms for formally starting the academic activities in these colleges next year has also been set in motion.
The sanctioning and approval of these medical colleges spread over five districts of the state including Rajouri, Doda, Kathua, Anantnag and Baramulla had also been provided with financial help to the tune of Rs 189 crore each by the Union government.
This aid had meant that the colleges could be developed however, the need to arrange the faculty and other staff for these colleges was totally ignored by the state government. Over the past several years several attempts were scuttled by the bureaucracy to approve the necessary plans and proposals to recruit the faculty and other staff members for these colleges.
So much so the officials of the health department were told several times to arrange the staff using ‘internal’ arrangements so that these colleges could be made functional. The health department is already understaffed and such directions, if implemented would have created havoc with the already burdened staff and facilities in the already running institutions of the state.
The new medical colleges need a staff strength of 3375 which includes doctors, para-medical and other staff. Though the government has by now referred only 2225 vacancies (including 330 faculty positions and 1895 para-medical vacancies) to the recruiting agencies including JKPSC and JKSSB respectively, the move has still come as a big relief for the state health department as well as the various stake holders attached with the health sector.
Jammu and Kashmir is still a developing region with all its sectors facing various shortcomings. The health sector is one such field which needs a curious as well as a well integrated approach to come over these shortcomings.
The creation and finally the functioning of new medical colleges will mean more medical graduates and other staff that are needed to run the health sector in tune with the modern day recruitments.
This the state bureaucracy needs to learn as well, as the health department is always running short of medical practicioners as most of the medical graduates who are even provided employment prefer to join the private sector or move out of the state to look for more greener pastures.
This being the reason that the state government had to approve a proposal of the Health & Medical Education department to grant extension in the joining time of 254 Medical officers as a onetime exception.
These Medical Officers who though selected were reluctant to join, will also be entitled to all service benefits including seniority from the actual date of their joining the Health Department in accordance with the Service Rules. The issue of providing an extension had crept as the medicos had shown no willingness to join the government service owing to lack of facilities and faulty service rules.