Medicos Attack Empty Director’s Seat With ridicule


Srinagar: Amid mysterious delay in the appointment of the new Director, Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Soura here, coupled with refusal of the medicos to coordinate with top bureaucrat, MK Bhandari, who is presently holding the charge of this super specialty facility, the SKIMS administration has virtually been left to fend for itself.

Medicos have a coined a satire to describe this never-before state of administrative affairs in the hospital. And, the phrase has gone viral on social media, as they say: SKIMS administration is on autopilot mode!

The one-liner, has been coined the members of the SKIMS Faculty Forum, who posted it on their social media accounts, letting it trending.

The SKIMS Faculty Forum has been in news since the superannuation of Dr Showkat Ali Zargar as Director of the hospital on June 2, when the government subsequently handed over the charge to Commissioner Secretary Health and Medical Education, MK Bhandari.

The government decision of assigning charge of this prestigious hospital to a “non-medico” only brought embarrassment for the ruling coalition. The SKIMS Faculty Forum refused to hold any meetings with their director pleading that “a non-medico cannot be our head.”

Amid cold response from the faculty forum, Bhandari, who was on his maiden visit to the hospital had to leave the place, embarrassed. Thereafter, the controversy snowballed further, when the experts cautioned that assignment of SKIMS Director charge to a non-medico has made the hospital vulnerable to de-recognition from the Medical Council of India.

Since then Bhandari visited the hospital just once and left the place within an hour as doctors remained reluctant to hold any deliberations with him.

Sources said in a bid to avoid any further controversies, the SKIMS administration has been asked to run the hospital “in default till the full-fledged Director is appointed.” Sources said till then the Joint Director SKIMS has been asked to persuade the doctors to run the hospital “the way they want to in the interest of the healthcare.”

But doctors are up in arms. “SKIMS is virtually headless. At a time when the Director has no coordination with the medicos, who happen to be the backbone of healthcare affairs, things have been left at the mercy of god,” said a delegation of SKIMS medicos, asking not to be identified. “So as of now one must endorse that SKIMS is on autopilot mode.”

There has already been a delay on the part of government in the appointment of the new Director. “The government concern towards SKIMS remained such that interviews for the new Director were held some ten days after the superannuation of Dr Zargar whereas process should have been competed much earlier,” said a delegation of the doctors. “Ideally speaking appointment of new director should have been in place when the predecessor retired.”

Even though the government held 2-day interviews on June 11 and 12 for all the 24 candidates, who had applied for the top post, results are awaited.

Sources said names of three top contenders as selected by the screening committee were being sent to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who also happens to be chairperson of the SKIMS Governing Body.

While Mehbooba will have the last word over the appointment, her Advisor Prof Amitabh Mattoo, has equally been news for his role in the selection process.


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