AIIMSAll India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), which treats 10,000 patients a day to attend OPDs alone, is crippled by a dire shortage of manpower. According to the Parliament standing committee on heatlh 303 posts lie vacant. Nearly 47 posts of professors, additional professors (9), associate professors (16) and nursing lecturers (13) are lying empty. Presenting their report at the Rajya Sabha on April 25, the committee castigated AIIMS for the crisis, saying “With so many posts lying vacant at faculty level, it would be practically difficult for the Institute to maintain high standards of patient care and teaching for which it has been known for decades. Nearly 1,468 posts in total at AIIMS lie vacant.” 

Reacting to the Committee’s report, deputy director of AIIMS Vineet Chawdhry said, “Among the 303 empty posts of assistant professors, 140 were created in February, 2012. We actually have around 200 vacancies among the teaching faculty. We have advertised for 115 posts of assistant professors and April 27 and 28 are the final round of interviews. Till now we have offered the job to 55 doctors of which 27 have joined. By mid-May we should have around 60 more joining in the assistant professor level.” 

Though so many posts lie vacant the institute informed the committee that it’s impossible to offer all the students passing out of the institute a job there. Earlier, the Committee had asked AIIMS to utilize the services of students passing out. The Committee said, “It is surprising that an institute like AIIMS has expressed its inability to retain students passing out after graduation. The committee implores upon AIIMS to explore the possibility of implementing its suggestion without any further delay.” 

The Committee said it was informed that 160 faculty posts have been created in addition to 34 posts approved by the academic committee. “The Committee was further informed that these 194 vacancies would be advertised after finalization of roster,” the report said. The Committee also took a strong stand on “the huge mismatch in doctors patient ratio in OPD, even if the vacant posts are filled up in the near future.” 

Recently 75% of the HODs of different departments admitted that their department was understaffed, at least 33% of the doctors end up working on Sundays and public holidays. On an average, a faculty member worked for 55 hours and 47 minutes far in excess of official working hours of 42 hours and 30 minutes in a week. It’s not surprising that doctors are retiring en masse, with seven doctors quitting in the last ten months, consisting of 4 HODS and 3 senior doctors. Younger doctors are leaving to work in private institutions, in India and abroad. In addition to being understaffed, there is a chronic lack of facilities in the country’s premier institute.

Dr Arvind Kumar who is now a surgeon at Sir Ganga Ram Hospitals echoes the sentiment expressed by his colleagues, “I quit as my potential at AIIMS was not being properly exploited. I was given the robotic equipment (for surgery) only once a week as other departments needed it. As a result, of which I just did 68 surgeries in four years. Here I have done 11 cases in 30 days,” he said.

Interestingly Sir Ganga Ram hospital is the first hospital in India to perform vascular robotic operations using the state of the art Da Vinci surgical system.

The  health minister wants to plug this hole by getting all PG students going to the US to sign bonds that will force them to return to India after completing their education. This move didn’t go down with either the medical fraternity or others as we can see clearly from the readers’ comments here.  One can only wonder how bad things are in other government hospital facilities if the country’s top institution has such problems. What do you think www.thehealthsite.com readers? What can be done to solve this problem?

AIIMS exodus continues…

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    Food for thought:
    In a parting gift to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss has appointed his camp follower and quota votary Dr Ramesh Chandra Deka as the new director of the institute. The shocking appointment was preceded by another order suspending eminent cardiac surgeon, Dr AK Bisoi.

    Bisoi is a prot�g� of former AIIMS director, Dr P Venugopal. Health Secretary Naresh Dayal announced Deka’s appointment on Tuesday for a tenure of five years, while Bisoi’s suspension order was announced on Monday.

    Dr Deka has been the dean of AIIMS and also holds the charge of head of the ENT department. The name of Deka was cleared by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet for the institute’s prime position, which has been lying vacant ever since Dr P Venugopal retired in July last year.

    The unexpected decision comes after a series of speculations and controversies in which Deka’s name was brandished by various sections of the media, doubting his credentials. Deka, who is close to the Health Minister, was chosen as the dean (in 2006) when Venugopal wanted Dr KS Reddy to take over the post. The Minister had initially pushed Deka’s name for the post of the acting director when the post had fallen vacant after Venugopal’s retirement in July 2008.

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    AIIMS director’s wife lands in trouble over offs
    New Delhi, Apr 18, 2012, DHNS :
    Special privileges upset others in faculty
    The issue of duty leave granted to the wife of director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, who too is a senior professor at the institute, has become a matter of controversy in the faculty.

    Dr Deepika Deka, professor, department of obstetrics and gynaecology, has taken more duty leave in 2011-12 than what faculty members are entitled, it is alleged.

     An anomaly in maintaining records by the administration has also been noticed.

    Dr Sunita Mittal, head, department of obstetrics and gynaecology, has requested the deputy director (administration) Vineet Chawdhry to conduct an inquiry and take necessary action at the earliest.

    Enclosed documents reveal that her department received letters from the administration permitting the AIIMS’ director’s wife 59 days of leave, while the permitted limit is 42 days.

    In her letter to the deputy director, she alleged that other faculty members were denied leave for important academic events even when they have leave remaining.

    Indiscipline

    The letter says, “This has led to indiscipline in department with inequality and deprivation to other faculty members…”

    But, in the records of the administrative officer, Dr Deka took only 21 days’ leave.

    So far, no inquiry has been ordered.

    This has created unrest among the faculty members. A mail circulated within the AIIMS faculty association (FAIIMS) has expressed discontent with regards to some people enjoying privilege over others due to their special status.

    “If such a possibility of support to faculty member exists in AIIMS, then why can’t we all have the same privileges? We should also be dealt with equally, with timely permissions before travel, and extra leaves,” said a senior faculty member in the mail.

    Besides this, there is another matter which has upset the AIIMS’ faculty.

    The 42 days of leave have been recently divided into two categories — one for a particular request to attend a conference or a workshop (28 days) and the other for meetings or  trainings (14 days).

    Restriction

    “This restricts us from utilising leave for combined purposes which has been the tradition at the institute.

    “Every specialty has its own kind of academic commitments and circumstances.
    It should not be categorised,” wrote another faculty member.

    The administration refused to respond on the issue.

  • Deepika

    Good article but why nobody points out the corruption level in recruitment process of govt. institutes. There r lots of doctors willing to work in govt. institutes. I have attended couple of interviews in govt colleges and there are 100s of candidates for single seat in which somebody with good pull will get into. Neither Matriculation nor experience is considered. This is so frustrating that there is no option other than private hospitals or abroad. It  is not lack of doctors but lack of seats and corruption in recruitment process. They should look on their loop holes rather than cutting down opportunities for doctors. In fact doctors are most underpaid in our country as compared to other conuntries like US, UK,Australia. Though they slog for at least eight to ten years in education only.