Government mulling to appoint Directors for Medical Colleges
The State Government is mulling to create a post of Director each in Government Medical Colleges of Srinagar and Jammu for "effective functioning" of the colleges which control functioning of major hospitals in both regions of the State.
Sources in Medical Education Department said the proposal was moved during the tenure of former health minister Chaudhary Lal Singh. As per the proposal Principal GMCs would be in charge of academic matters of the institute while as the Director would head the associated hospitals of Government Medical College Srinagar and Jammu. At present the Principal is the highest decision making officer at the GMC level who directly reports to the administrative department.
A senior official said the proposal for creation of Director post for Associated Hospitals of GMC in both Jammu and Srinagar was under consideration.
"The proposal is there but it has not been finalized yet," said the senior official in H&ME Department.
While the new position of Directors have reportedly been proposed to "unburden" the Principals of GMC, the move is being seen as an attempt to curtail the powers of Principals vis-à-vis administration and affairs of Associated Hospitals. There are also apprehensions that 'sheer nepotism' would be employed to get 'blue-eyed' people to head important tertiary care hospitals.
"The government has not been able to appoint Medical Superintendents of Hospitals as per the rules. How can we expect that Directors would be appointed on the basis of merit," a senior official questioned.
He added, "It must be some blue-eyed person for whom Medical Superintendent post would be 'a little below the rank' who is being adjusted at the Director post."
Another official said besides the positions of Directors another proposal was being contemplated simultaneously for creation of "many new posts" for augmenting the powers of GMC administrators.
At present there are two administrators, one each for Jammu and Srinagar Government Medical Colleges. Though these administrators are of the level of KAS officers, there is however no clarity about the role and responsibilities of these administrators and more often than not, the confusion has been a sore spot between GMC Principals and Administrators.
Last year, while addressing doctors, then Minister of Health and Medical Education had said, "Principals need to concentrate on teaching not hospitals' administration." However, doctors at both GMC Srinagar and Jammu have decried that Associated Hospitals are teaching hospitals and must remain so, rather than having a 'Managing Director'. "We are teaching hospitals and every activity is supposed to be in that direction. We cannot have a business model and business administrator to head the hospital," said a senior medico at Jammu.