SKIMS Medical Colleges Faces De-Recognition

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MCI Permission Already Obtained: Dir

‘Have Sent Rs 140 Cr Plan To Govt’

Srinagar – Even 14 years after the takeover of the erstwhile Jehlum Valley Medical College by the S K Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), the prestigious institution has failed to transform the it into a full-fledged Medical College and is faced with the ugly prospect of de-recognition by the Medical Council of India.

Quoting reliable sources, reports said the college, which had an initial strength of 280 beds in 1998 at the time of its takeover by the SKIMS, was presently having only 220 beds.

 SKIMS administration has not bothered to increase the bed strength of the hospital to 400, a pre-requisite for a medical college of 50 student intake capacity. An increase in student intake to 100, which the health ministry has proposed, is a distant dream under such circumstances”, sources added.

A senior doctor, wishing anonymity, said the bed strength of 400 for the hospital was mandatory for MCI recognition as the teaching units of SKIMS would not be accepted as part of the college.  “The MCI would not accept the SKIMS infrastructure for the college as it is more than 5 km away. As per the guidelines the teaching units cannot be more than 5 km away from the main campus”, he said, adding the undergraduate students studying at the college at present wasted more than 2 hours of work daily on account of travel to and from SKIMS. This could even result in an extra year of studies for students as they would not be able to complete the minimum requisite teaching hours, he added.

Sources inside the college said that SKIMS had been deputing a faculty member as the principal of the Medical College, because of which work at both SKIMS Soura and SKIMS College at Bemina suffer.

“The principal hardly ever visits the institution and runs it through remote control which is hugely telling upon the functioning of the Medical College hospital,” sources said.   

“A full time principal/ vice-principal is needed as any suitable professor among the existing ones in SKIMS Medical College can deliver better as he/she would be well versed with its affairs and ground reality in an undergraduate institution,” they said.

Astonishingly, the Medical College hospital lacks MRI, CT Scan, Digital XRay, Laproscopic equipments, Surgical and Medical Intensive Care Units besides a large number of life saving gadgets and advanced diagnostic equipment. Many other colleges established around the same time have been upgraded to undertake post-graduate courses.

“Batra Medical College, Jammu, was able to start PG courses within only eight years of its establishment, but SKIMS Medical College with 14 years of takeover is same as it was in 1998. SKIMS administration did not bother to upgrade this institution and deprived many students’ chances of pursuing post graduation. We could not benefit from the central schemes as most medical colleges in the country have increased MBBS and PG seats with the help of Ministry of Health & Family Welfare,” said a senior doctor.

“There is no college council, no interdepartmental meetings, no statistical meetings, no grand rounds, no clinico-pathological meetings and periodic research reviews as is the norm at other medical colleges,” he said.

The hospital is yet to establish staff reading room, daftaries, book binders, microfilm reading room, video room, and journal room. “The departments are not able to get new equipment, advanced diagnostic tools for want of space as the same has not been enhanced for the past 14 years despite a 10-fold increase in outpatient load. The costly equipments are procured as it fetches good commission whereas basic small items are neglected,” he added.

“This hospital can start functioning as there is already faculty of Pediatrics and Gynae and Obstetrics in the college. It will reduce the burden on overcrowded hospitals like Lal Ded and GB Panth Hospital and there will also be a healthy competition of services between two Medical Colleges. This way the bed strength will cross 400 which is mandatory for MCI recognition.

Strategic location of the hospital is a great plus point for the hospital as it is easily accessible for people from districts like Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipore, Budgam, Pulwama, Shopion, Kulgam, Anantnag, said a student of the college.

However, SKIMS director, Dr Showkat Zargar, said there was no danger of de-recognition of the Medical College as 50 seats allotted to it were in the name of SKIMS Soura and not the erstwhile JVC. “We have been given permission to use the facilities of SKIMS Soura and three inspections have been done by the MCI in the past,” he said.

On making the institution an independent Medical College, he said a plan of Rs 140 crore had been sent to the centre, which is expected to be approved by December 2012. “We are planning to increase another 150 beds and our total intake capacity will increase to 250 seats for MBBS at both the campuses.” he said.

Regarding non-availability of advanced diagnostic facilities at the hospital, the director said orders for procuring equipment like CT scanners had already been placed. He said the site for installing such equipment has also been prepared. (KNS)

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