Srinagar: An order issued by J&K Government has directed all medical colleges of J&K to relieve senior residents and registrars completing their term to be sent back to their parent institutes, a move that is set to create an immediate crunch of doctors in medical colleges in absence of the fresh batch of residents joining.
In May this year, J&K Government extended the tenure of all doctors who were working in medical colleges here up to December 31, 2021. The move was brought in to help the medical college hospitals, the tertiary care heath set-up, with adequate doctors’ strength in order to cater to the surging cases of COVID19.
The order included residents and registrars, wherever the tenures were ending.
With December 31 approaching, the medical colleges in J&K have been issued a fresh notice to end the tenure of the doctors that had been provided extension. “Disciplinary action” against those medical colleges that do not conform to the order has been warned. The letter has been copied to GMCs of Srinagar, Jammu, Anantnag, Baramulla, Rajouri, Doda and Kathua.
However, with the process of postgraduate admissions in the medical colleges of J&K and other states yet to be completed, there is a gross shortage of resident staff, a senior hospital administrator said. He said that the resident staff and registrars were responsible for running the hospitals. “They form the backbone of all hospitals and do the major work,” the administrator said. He said that in a single institute, GMC Srinagar, at least 70 residents were currently working with various departments and augmenting healthcare delivery in OPDs, wards and labs.
Another senior doctor said that relieving the “major workforce” of hospitals as directed by the order was “ill-timed”. “Omicron threat and the surge in cases continue. Moreover, we have the tertiary care hospitals only that are catering to COVID19 and peripheral hospitals are not providing any COVID19 services,” he said.
Government had also increased the tenure of other categories of doctors including faculty to address the COVID19 scenario. The PG admissions across the country have been delayed by many months, first due to the postponement of exams and later due to a stay in Supreme Court on the counseling. The Court is expected to clear the decks for announcement of results in January 2022.