AIIMS facing staff crunch: Parliamentary panel

New Delhi: The All India Institute of Medical Sciences is facing a huge staff crunch with 1,468 out of 10,639 posts lying vacant at the faculty level, a parliamentary committee has found.

The committee warned that due to this shortage of staff it would be difficult for the premier institute to maintain the high standard of patient care and teaching for which it has been known for decades.

The committee cannot remain a mute spectator to the appalling circumstances prevailing in such a reputed place like AIIMS, which is a role model for all medical institutes across the country, it said in its report.

The hospital caters to 8,000 patients on a daily basis.

Of the 1,468 vacancies, 47 are posts of professors, nine vacancies are in the additional professors category, 16 are of associate professors, 303 of assistant professors and 13 posts are yet to be filled in the category of lecturers.

With regard to steps being taken to fill up the vacancies, the committee was apprised that advertisements for filling up of 115 faculty posts was issued by the institute and the selection process for some posts have been completed.

Candidates who have cleared the first two phases of interviews have started joining. However, interviews for remaining posts is underway and the posts will be filled up soon.

The committee was also informed that under the Moily Committee, 160 faculty posts have been created in addition to 34 new posts duly approved by the Academic Committee, Standing Finance Committee and Governing Body on February 29.

The committee was informed that advertisements for these 194 vacancies would happen after finalisation of the roster.

It was further informed that there would be a huge mismatch in the doctor-patient ratio in OPD and even if the vacant posts are filled up in the near future the mismatch would continue.

It implored upon the department to take proactive steps not only to fill up the vacant posts on a war-footing but also initiate a blueprint to ensure a decent doctor-patient ratio which would help the institute achieve the overall aim of providing tertiary care and path-breaking research.

The committee feels that the above objective can only be possible when there is adequate quality time for research activities. Hence a realistic assessment of available manpower vis-a-vis sanctioned strength of the institute is urgently required.

On a suggestion to the department for evolving a mechanism to utilise the services of students passing out from the institute, the committee was informed that the number of students passing out from the institute far exceeded the job opportunities there.
Hence, no bond of serving in the institute is obtained from the students.

AIIMS has seen a huge exodus over the last ten months with eight doctors, including two department heads quitting.

"I quit as my potential at AIIMS was not being properly exploited. I was given the robotic equipment (for surgery) only once a week as other departments needed it. As a result of which I just did 68 surgeries in four years. Here I have done 11 cases in 30 days," Dr Arvind Kumar, who is now a surgeon with Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, said.

Among others who quit include Dr H H Dash (Head of neuro-anaesthesia), Dr Supriyo Ghosh (Head of department of ophthalmology), Dr Rani A Sundar (assistant professor, anaesthesiology), Dr John Ranjan Behara (assistant professor, orthopaedics), Dr Vinay Gulati (Department of medicine and Dr C Venkata Kartikeyan (ENT Department) and Dr Manish Sharma (assistant professor, neurosurgery).