SKIMS Medical College crumbling


Srinagar, Dec 2: Despite being a key referral healthcare institute, the SKIMS Medical College Hospital at Bemina here has been crumbling for want of infrastructure required as per the guidelines prescribed by the Medical Council of India (MCI).
 “The erstwhile Jehlum Valley Medical College (JVC) was taken over by the SKIMS Soura in 1998 and since then 14-years have elapsed. When SKIMS took over the hospital management its bed strength was 280 but during all these years it has come down to 220,” said a source.
 The hospital is unable to cater to the increasing rush of patients as government has failed to transform the institute into a full-fledged Medical College even 14 years after the health institute was taken over by it.
 “The administration is least bothered about improving the infrastructure to cater to the ever increasing number of patients every month,” the source said. “Health Ministry had proposed to increase the intake capacity of students to 100 but given the circumstances it looks like a distant dream.”
 A top ranking official of the college revealed the college is now facing the ugly prospect of de-recognition by the Medical Council of India due to inadequate infrastructure.
 As per official records, the inflow of patients in the Out-patient Department has crossed 4 lakh mark as compared to 2 lakh OPD attendance 7 years ago. “During all these years OPD and IPD blocks have not been upgraded,” the official added.
 He said due to lack of proper infrastructure and facilities in the hospital intake capacity of the students cannot be increased from 50 to 100.
 An employee of the hospital who has been working there since its inception said, “During all these years no effort has been put to renovate the OPD. “It makes more like a railway station and is uncomfortably congested,” he added.
 The official said at least one lakh patients visit the most congested Ortho/ Trauma department annually but the department has just 30 beds. “It is three times less than MCI guidelines,” he added.
 The MCI guidelines provide that the bed strength of 400 is mandatory for recognition of the college. However, in case of SKIMS Medical College, according to experts, the teaching units of SKIMS Soura cannot be treated as part of the College which is at Bemina, as there is a distance of more than 5 kilometers between the college and the SKIMS teaching units.
 Insiders said that SKIMS had been deputing a faculty member as the principal of the Medical College, because of which work at both SKIMS Soura and SKIMS College at Bemina suffer. “The principal rarely visits the institute and runs it through remote control,” sources said.
 “A full time principal/ vice-principal is needed as any suitable professor among the existing ones in SKIMS Medical College can deliver better as he/she would be well versed with its affairs and ground reality in an undergraduate institution,” they said.
 Many other colleges established around the same time have been upgraded to undertake post-graduate courses, said a doctor referring to Batra Medical College, Jammu.
 “Batra Medical College, Jammu, was able to start PG courses only eight years after its inception. However SKIMS Medical College has not been able to do the same even 14 years after it was taken over by the government,” doctors said.
 They said there was no college council, no interdepartmental meetings, no statistical meetings, no grand rounds, no clinico-pathological meetings and periodic research reviews.
 The hospital is yet to establish staff reading room, daftaries, book binders, microfilm reading room, video room, and journal room. “The departments are not able to get new equipment, advanced diagnostic tools for want of space,” doctors added.
 Students in the college believe the hospital can start functioning as there is already faculty of Pediatrics and Gynae and Obstetrics in the college. It will reduce the burden on overcrowded hospitals like Lal-Ded and GB Pant Hospital and there would also be a healthy competition of services between two Medical Colleges. This way the bed strength would cross 400 which is mandatory for MCI recognition.
 “Strategic location of the hospital is a great plus point for the hospital as it is easily accessible for people from districts like Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora, Budgam, Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam and Islamabad (Anantnag),” said a student of the college.

Lastupdate on : Sun, 2 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 2 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 3 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST

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