SKIMS gets go-ahead to start MCh Surgical Gastroenterology
Govt appoints Dr Omar Javed Shah as interim Director SKIMS

SKIMS gets go-ahead to start MCh Surgical Gastroenterology

In a major boost to super-specialty healthcare and medical education in J&K, Sher-e-Kashmir Insttiute of Medical Sciences has got a go-ahead to start MCh Surgical Gastroenterology.

The institute is the first medical college in J&K to get approval from Board of Governors (BoGs), which has replaced Medical Council of India, for starting MCh Surgical Gastroenterology.

A communication from the BoGs has conveyed its approval to allow the course at the Institute from the academic session 2020-21.

The decision to permit the course, as per the communication, was taken after a hearing was granted to the SKIMS before the hearing committee constituted by the BoGs on June 22 through video conferencing.

In north India, three institutions offer MCh course in Surgical GE.

The Surgical branch, according to experts, will help in training more manpower in such complex surgeries and help in improving healthcare in this specialty.

Prof Omar Javed Shah, Dean Medical Faculty SKIMS and Head of Surgical Gastroenterology department expressed jubilation over the development.

"It was my long cherished dream to make advanced medical education in the Surgical GI department a reality at the Institute. It is a historical moment and will make liver transplant possible at the SKIMS. That would help us serve so many more patients better," said Prof Shah, ex-Director SKIMS.

A liver transplant unit was initiated at the SKIMS six years ago but it is yet to be made functional due to non-availability of faculty in the discipline and other impediments.

Experts have lauded SKIMS for the achievement. Dr Avinash Supe, President Indian Association of Surgical Gastroenterology said Gastroenterology Surgical diseases such as gall stones, pancreatic diseases and ascariasis were very common in Kashmir.

He said SKIMS has been providing services in these areas for long time and have "very experienced faculty". 

Starting Superspecialty courses like MCh in GI Surgery will definitely help to enhance these services and "research in this areas and will be a boon to people of Kashmir".

Dr Supe said SKIMS had already "established itself given its work on portal hypertension" and was a high volume center in pancreatic surgeries.

"The department will promote complex surgeries in this area under the guidance of Prof Shah," he said.

Dr Sanjay Goja, renowned liver transplant surgeon at Narayan Healthcare Delhi and Chairman of HPB Surgery at the hospital said the nod for super specialty course (MCh) was long due.

He said it will help in enhancement of medical research in the area. "The quality of innovative work especially in field of pancreatic and portal hypertension surgery, acknowledged internationally has been sine qua non of department over the years," he said.

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