The government plans to build five medical colleges, but doctors aren’t impressed. They feel it only serves to build the government’s image, but does not help people in a state where there is a 61 per cent faculty shortage in all government medical colleges not to forget lack of basic infrastructure. There have been no recruitments in the past five years since Telangana state was carved out of Andhra Pradesh. RIMS Adilabad is running the show with just one professor in the general medical department. Doctors feel the government should recruit professors before setting up new colleges.
“Due to the lack of qualified professors at government medical colleges, post-graduate students are taking classes,” Junior Doctors Association chairman Dr P. S. Vijayender Goud said.
The government is not even extending services of retired but willing professors. The Telangana junior doctors’ joint action committee had recently written to the state health secretary, requesting to extend the services of Prof D.V.S. R.K. Prasad, head of department of urology at OGH, who retires in February.
“After bifurcation, 200 professors came from Andhra Pradesh to Telangana. There has not been a single recruitment since, not even of an assistant professor,” said a professor on the condition of anonymity. “The Telangana State Public Service Commission gave notification for 274 posts but did not recruit any professor as the issue is in court. The government should first recruit professors and only then start new colleges. Government had issued a GO for establishing a separate recruitment board, but it has not happened yet. Around 800 of 1,305 assistant professor posts are vacant,” the professor said.
“In 1980, government medical colleges were overcrowded with professors,” said Dr P. Vinay Kumar, surgical gastroenterologist and laparoscopic surgeon at Apollo & Challa Hospitals in Hyderabad. “After the advent of corporate hospitals, many doctors left service and took up jobs there. Earlier, every politician or celebrity would go to a government hospital for treatment or surgery. So adequate funds were provided for development of infrastructure and best doctors were recruited there. Since most big shots now go to corporate hospitals, they are not doing anything to improve facilities at government hospitals.”
Founder and managing director at MEdRC, Dr Neeraj Raj, had a solution. “If the government can use information technology, we can set up colleges in every district hospital where clinical equipment is available,” Dr Raj said.
“Around 70 per cent of faculty time goes in completing theory and 30 per cent in doing practicals. By digitising the entire theory syllabus, students can take classes from the best professors. We can reduce the problem of faculty shortage. Also, 30 per cent of time can be allocated to teaching theory and 70 per cent to doing practicals through innovative ways. Importance should be given to gaining practical knowledge,” he said.