SKIMS: It saddens us all

It pains to see the premier healthcare institution of our state come to this pass. Today’s news saddens us all. But beyond that regretful atmosphere is the actual question. Why has SKIMS come to this sad state of affairs? Who is responsible for this? And then, what needs to be done to stop this fall to disgrace. The Government order, suspending three senior faculty members of SKIMS, also attaching the Director SKIMS with the General Administration Department, is reflective of an institutional failure. This can’t be attributed to just one person, or any particular dispensation of this institution. The reasons furnished for this action are the violations of the institutional norms, that bar the doctors from this institution to perform private practice. At the face of it, it is a simple case of dereliction of duties, and the government owns the right to take the necessary punitive action. But the matter is not just that. There are hundreds of cases in the government offices where the officials face such actions, as a consequence of violating the rules. Here, in the case of SKIMS, the matter becomes extra ordinarily crucial because of the centrality of this institute to the healthcare system of our state. The doctors in question occupy positions of importance in terms of what people expect from them. Any apex institute forms the core of an entire system. If there is a fault in the core, its affects are devastatingly dangerous. Given this, the government must not limit itself to penalising any particular person, or persons. It must look beyond, and unearth the institutional weakness that have wreaked havoc to SKIMS. Finally, it is not about a person, but an institution that is dwindling. And this journey to bottom has more structural reasons, than personal faults. The faculty, and other staff, in this institution are all responsible for what is happening to SKIMS. They are stakeholders, and they must be held accountable for anything that goes wrong in this institution. The government must initiate a process to salvage this premier healthcare institution.

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