Who’ll Head Ailing SKIMS?

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Srinagar: Even as the government on Sunday concluded the 2-day interviews for the post of new Director, Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Soura here, the appointment is likely to be made within a week, Kashmir Observer learnt from reliable sources.
As many as 24 candidates, all of whom had applied for the top chair, were interviewed by a selection committee headed by Chief Secretary BR Sharma at the Banquet Hall here.
The seat fell vacant on June 2, when the then Director, Dr Showkat Ali Zargar attained superannuation, while the government subsequently assigned the charge to Secretary Health & Medical Education Department, Dr MK Bhandari.
Sources said the selection committee will give a list of three toppers from those interviewed, to Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, who is also the chairperson of the SKIMS Governing Body. The chairperson, as per officials, has final word on the issue.
The appointment for director SKIMS, Kashmir’s sole tertiary care hospital, marred by years of maladministration and corruption, will remain a litmus-test for the Mehbooba Mufti led government, which claims to bring in transparency.
“Appointment of Director SKIMS, has often been politically motivated, something which in the past remained a major reason for deteriorating health services and rise of corruption in the hospital… It needs to be seen, if the government will prefer merit over influence this time,” said a member of the SKIMS Governing Body asking not to be identified.
Official documents reveal that applicants who were interviewed include: Dr Khursheed Alam Wani at serial No 1, followed by, Dr Altaf Rehman Kirmani, Prof Imtiyaz Ahmad Naqash, Prof Muhammad Maqbool Lone, Dr Bashir Ahmad Laway, Prof Sarman Singh, Dr Showkat Ali Mufti, Prof Javed Chowdhary, Dr Sameer Hassan Naqash, Dr Parvaiz Ahmed Koul, Dr Syed Wajid Ali, Dr Sheikh Mushtaq Ahmed, Dr Dalip Kumar Kakru, Dr Abdul Majid Ganai, Dr Syed Amin Tabish and Dr Abdul Rashid Baddoo, respectively, all of whom were interviewed on June 11.
On Sunday, those who were interviewed include Dr AG Ahangar, Dr Mushtaq Ahmed Wani, Dr Gul Javaid, Dr Adil Hafeez Wani, Dr Sheikh Aejaz Aziz, Dr Altaf Umar Ramzan, Dr Ghulam Nabi Yattoo and Dr Omar Javed Shah.
Experts have already raised eyebrows over government decision to cal all the applicants for the interview as some of them have cases of corruption and private practice registered against them, while some are being seen as “morally corrupt.”
“Inviting all the applicants for interviews hints at that the government is not serious to reject the applicants who have a tainted service record,” said a top medico closely monitoring the developments.
Sources have been saying that while hectic lobbying was in the political circles, Chief Minister’s advisor Prof Amitabh Mattoo would play a crucial role in the matter.

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