Grappling with manpower shortage, SKIMS to make 'academic arrangement'

Faced with shortage of medicos and paramedic staff Shere-Kashmir Institute of Medical Science (SKIMS) has got a go-ahead from the state government for making recruitment on academic arrangement.

The Governor Satya Pal Malik approved recruitment on the academic arrangement last week, Director SKIMS, Prof Omar Javed Shah said. The Governor is also chairperson of the SKIMS governing body.

The Director said the proposal for hiring staff on academic arrangement was more than a decade old demand. “This provision has been allowed for the first time at the SKIMS,” he said.

Earlier this week Greater Kashmir reported that the institute as facing shortfall of 44 percent faculty, a deficiency that has persisted for years.

An official said despite the recently concluded faculty recruitment drive most of the posts have remained vacant owing to “stringent rules and lengthy recruitment process”.

“Academic arrangement will get us access to a larger pool (of doctors and paramedics), as short term arrangement, to help improve patient care and medical education at the Institute,” he said.

Last year, SKIMS had moved a proposal for filling 250 posts of nurses and equal number of posts of paramedics, technicians and allied human resource.

However, owing to the tardy recruitment process, the posts have remained largely vacant.

The Director said that approval for academic arrangement will pave way for “short-term” engagement of nurses, technicians and other staff in addition to the faculty.

“We would be in a better position to provide the services,” he said.

An official said formal advertisement of the posts for filling them on academic arrangement will take some more time as Model Code of Conduct MCC) was in vogue.

He expressed apprehension at the chances of further delay in hiring key staff, without which, he said, SKIMS was rendered to a “skeletal body”.

“This is the premier-most health institute of Kashmir but due to lack of staff, patient services have grossly dipped,” he said.

The Director SKIMS however said the Institute has already written to authorities at Election Commission (EC) for permission to issue notification for filling up the posts. “They have agreed to allow us to notify the posts, but a formal letter is yet to be received,” he said.

He added the notification, along with rules of engagement, will be issued once a letter of permission was received from the election conducting body.