| The under-construction building of Patna AIIMS. Telegraph picture |
The opening of Patna AIIMS has boomeranged on the state government that faces difficulty in getting doctors and teachers for its medical colleges and hospitals.
At least 15 doctors from Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) and Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS) have applied for the posts of professor, additional professor, associate professor and assistant professors at Jai Prakash Narayan All India Institute of Medical Sciences (JPNAIIMS), while many others are planning to follow suit.
The health ministry had invited applications for 67 vacancies at the facility.
Officials at JPNAIIMS attributed the doctors’ attraction towards teaching at the 50-seat medical college to the promise of better funds, facilities, work culture and payscale. A 960-bed super-specialty hospital would start operations by May next year.
JPNAIIMS director Dr G.K. Singh said: “A lot of doctors working in the state medical colleges are eager to join us. Though a board set up by the Centre would conduct rigorous interviews to make all appointments, many doctors enquire about the prospects here.” He added that JPNAIIMS would be a “better” place to work at. “I can promise that it would be very fulfilling professionally for doctors to work with us. We would have sophisticated equipment and machines using which doctors can perform more effectively.”
Twenty-four doctors were selected to teach at the college in the first batch of whom 19 have joined the institution. By the end of next year, 91 medical teachers are expected to be on board in the college that would enrol 100 students from the next academic session.
Singh said he did not see the opening of JPNAIIMS as a “threat” to its workforce.
“I know three-four doctors have applied for JPNAIIMS and some migration would definitely happen. However, I have a team of extremely professional and committed doctors most of whom are working hard to make the institution better and a majority of them will not move from here,” he said.
PMCH principal Dr N.P. Yadav said migration of working doctors could spell trouble at a time when the health hub was considering increasing its base of doctors. “I am aware of the fact that many doctors are looking for opportunity to work there (JPNAIIMS). It could put us in a tight spot in the coming months,” he said.
Those who have applied to JPNAIIMS said they were frustrated working with the state government because of its anti-doctor policies.
“I have been working with the PMCH for the past 17 years. It took the state government 16 years to promote me from assistant professor to associate professor. It is very frustrating. We cannot grow to the fullest of our potential because of acute dearth of resources and poor work culture. At least, JPNAIIMS would not have these issues and therefore, I hope to make it there,” a PMCH doctor said on condition of anonymity.