Despite promise, govt fails to bring SKIMS at par with AIIMS
‘Losing precious human resource to private institutes’
Faculty at SKIMS Soura has expressed anguish over the "failure" of government in bringing the service rules of the Institute at par with AIIMS New Delhi, on which pattern the former has been constituted.
Senior faculty members at SKIMS said the proposal of bringing service rules of SKIMS were moved five years ago, when Governor of J&K was NN Vohra. The then Governor, a faculty member said, had agreed to implement SRO 283 in the manner that the appointments and retirements at SKIMS must follow AIIMS in terms of selection, promotion and all other terms of reference.
The faculty member said that it was unfortunate and "illegal" that the retirement age which was changed in AIIMS to 65 years in 2008 continued to be 62 at the institute. "If we have the same appointment rules as AIIMS Delhi has, how come we have different retirement age?" he asked.
Last year in June, the then Governor Satya Pal Malik also pledged to grant more autonomy to the Institute and bring it at par with AIIMS New Delhi. However, doctors and other human resource have rued the "apathy" of the subsequent Governments in J&K to fulfil this promise. "The SKIMS cannot pick and choose from SRO 283," a faculty member who recently retired from the service said.
Many doctors at SKIMS said that the "faulty implementation" of the rules was resulting in brain drain. "The most experienced hands and brains retire at 62 here, when they can still contribute a lot in improving patient care and medical education," another faculty member said. He said that the loss of SKIMS was the gain of other institutes, including private ones where retirement age was higher. "What prevents the Government from helping the premier hospital and medical education in J&K to retain the precious faculty here," he asked.
Prof Sameer Naqash, secretary faculty forum said the proposal to bring SKIMS service rules in consonance with that of AIIMS had been worked upon by State Finance Committee (SFC). "It has a financial implementation of Rs 19 crore annually, which is a very small cost for the manpower that we can retain here at an Institute that serves the super specialty needs of the entire Jammu and Kashmir," he said.
He said that Director SKIMS Dr A G Ahangar had sought the attention of the incumbent Government towards the issue. "We are hopeful it will be resolved soon," he said.