State health secretary BK Tripathy talks to a patient at MGM hospital on Sunday. Picture by Animesh Sengupta
The state health department is considering a one-time promotion for faculty members of MGM Medical College to meet the Medical Council of India’s (MCI) guideline and prevent a possible slash in the number of seats at the cradle’s undergraduate level.
Health secretary B.K. Tripathy, who visited the premier institute in Dimna on Sunday, said this stopgap arrangement would help fill up a number of vacant posts of senior teachers and professors.
After an inspection of the cradle in May, an MCI team, in its report to the statutory body, recommended that the number of MBBS seats be reduced to 50 from the existing 100, primarily owing to shortage of mentors at the cradle.
“The MCI has not set any timeframe to overcome the existing shortcomings. However, it has said that the seats will be reduced if things are not addressed at the earliest. We are working towards plugging the loopholes,” said Tripathy, after holding a meeting with doctors at the medical college.
The secretary pointed out that a similar move (one-time promotion) was taken in 2004 to augment the faculty strength. “There has been no promotion for several years resulting in a large number of vacancies at various levels. More than 50 per cent posts are vacant at the moment. So we are planning to promote teachers within three months based on their experiences and qualifications to protect affiliation to MCI,” he added.
According to sources, currently, there are only 10 professors against the 33 sanctioned posts, five associate professors against 36 posts, 30 assistant professors against the requirement of 50, 45 senior residents as against 70 and 40 tutors to do the job of 50. Again, nine out of the 30 departments are ‘head less’.
Taking note of the difficulties being faced by the doctors in shuttling between the hospital and the medical college (a distance of 7km from Sakchi to Dimna), Tripathy said he would raise before the government the demand for setting up a hospital on the college campus.
“We have room on the campus to open a hospital. In that case, the existing 520-bed one in Sakchi can be converted into a sadar hospital,” he said.
He added that if the cabinet approved the suggestion, it would take another two-three years to materialise the idea.
Later, the senior bureaucrat visited the MGM hospital in Sakchi and promised to solve the drinking water crisis within 10 days.
Tripathy, who is also the energy secretary, said power problems at the heal hub would be solved by Tuesday.