The ailing SKIMS
Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences is making news though for wrong reasons always. The ills and the inordinate bureaucratic setup that has been hindering almost all major improvements in this healthcare institution are proving a bane for it.
Authorities in SKIMS are almost sitting on all the files which have either to clear proposals to purchase of equipments or take decisions on hiring of professional to streamline the working in the hospital.
Though some changes have been made at the top level but the managing body of this institution fails to understand that the middle rung official machinery is manned by the same old people who have not grown with time and the requirements of modern day healthcare scenario.
While infrastructure up-gradation is critical to providing improved healthcare facilities in the hospital, the aim with which the centre was setup has failed its very purpose. SKIMS as we all know was established to provide thrust on advancement of academic and research activities in the healthcare.
The institution needs a renewed focus on streamlining its functioning to secure the trust and esteem of the public at large and all stakeholders and to achieve these objectives it has to be ensured that the services and the quality of healthcare are significantly improved and there is regular flow of information about the outcomes in academics and research.
SKIMS needs to rebrand itself to restore the stature of this premier institution so that it comes up as a research-oriented healthcare facility. The officials need to work out on a proposal to focus on improving professional and academic stature of this premiere teaching, training, research and healthcare institution.
While the officials here are to be blamed for the sloth type attitude, no action has been sought by the top bosses to stop the procedure of sending almost all files to the secretariat for approval and sanctions.
The SKIMS has a full-fledged managing body and only ways and means need to be explored to enhance its financial powers. The managing body in consultation with the government could have offered a plan for restructuring of various committees for making SKIMS a truly autonomous institution.
Secondly, the institution should have over the years focused on setting up clinics in districts to reduce the load of patients while focussing on promoting more research with external funding and capacity building in medical care.
Kashmir valley in particular is confronted with various challenges on the healthcare front. Be it out eating habits or the topography of the region various ailments have surfaced over the years and these could have been researched to get to the root cause of it. But SKIMS as a research institution has failed to come up to the peoples expectations.
SKIMS for claiming its position at the top level in the list of institutions which have carved a niche, needs to fill up all the vacant positions in a time-bound manner. It also needs to set research targets for the faculty, setting up Department of Clinical Research, involving SKIMS in the training of staff from Health Services institutions in the peripheries and deputing its staff for short duration capacity building courses in institutions of high repute.