Srinagar: The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare concluded its Kashmir study visit on Wednesday with a review meeting with the officials and heads of healthcare departments, discussing various issues, primarily the shortage of faculty in medical colleges.
The review and concluding meeting was chaired by Additional Chief Secretary (ADS) to J&K Government (Health and Medical Education), Vivek Bhardwaj at Pahalgam.
He said that the parliamentary delegation was “very satisfied” with the healthcare delivery system in Kashmir “especially the strengthening of the infrastructure” that has been carried out “in the last few years”.
“The new medical colleges have started and the delegation was quite happy about it also,” he said.
Bhardwaj said that the delegation expressed concern over the large number of vacancies in the department, primarily of the faculty in various medical colleges.
He said that the delegation was apprised about the process and progress of recruitment.
“We told them that the vacancies have already been referred to the recruiting body, the Public Service Commission, and are being filled,” he said.
The ADS said that the Parliamentary Committee was appreciative of the manner in which the pandemic was handled in J&K.
He said a report would be compiled by the delegation soon and shared with the J&K government.
The 14-member committee arrived in Srinagar on Monday and during their three-day study tour, visited various health facilities.
At GMC Srinagar, the members were taken through a presentation deliberating on the various facets of the healthcare delivery at tertiary care level.
The committee took a tour of the Radiation Oncology Department of the medical colleges and raised queries about the facilities for treatment of non-communicable diseases, including cancer.
The delegation also visited the Public Health Centre (PHC) Chanapora, and PHC Pahalgam.
On Tuesday, they took a review of the progress of the GoI-funded AIIMS Kashmir being set up at Awantipora.
The site plan and the changes made due to various factors were also shared with the delegation.
The members enquired about the preparedness regarding the start of admitting the first batch of MBBS students at the premier institution.
The health officials said that the committee was informed that a temporary campus for accommodating the first batch had been identified and awaited approval of AIIMS Rishikesh, the mentoring institution.
The committee is chaired by Rajya Sabha member Prof Ram Gopal Yadav.
The members of the committee included four Rajya Sabha members and 10 Lok Sabha members and nine medicos.