Punjab: The Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research(PGIMER) seems to be ridden with problems of faculty recruitment, non functional OTs, and shortage of staff accommodation. The magnitude of these paucities has gained proportions that are now pushing the staffers to ponder protest, in order to have the authorities pay heed to these shortcomings.
So pathetic is the situation that in the past 20 years, despite the faculty strength having increased from about 150 to over 425, the faculty accommodation continues to number a mere 125. All other medical practitioners live on rent outside the PGIMER premises.
During a PGIMER Faculty Association’s General Body Meeting, a woman doctor burst into tears, after she was asked to vacate an accommodation provided to her on the institute’s campus.The PGI staff has been facing a shortage of housing for decades now.
“A woman knows how difficult it is to live with a family that has a newborn child and dependent elderly parents as members. My father is suffering from movement disorder and is admitted here. I have received a letter giving me two days to vacate,” she said.
“The committee chairperson has given us moral support but that will not help me. I need a house. I have received a number of letters asking me to vacate the accommodation without providing any alternative, ” she added.
“I have been asked to vacate the house because it is given to those with a lower grade pay,” she further stated.
Speaking about the housing problem an official said, it didn’t just pertain to doctors but also the paramedic and lower staff. “Hardly 20% nursing staff has houses. Technicians and ward attendants are also struggling to get houses, he said. “While the number of employees have increased manifold, the number of houses has not been increased. The staff anger is genuine, he added
Moreover, the housing rent allowance (HRA) given to the staff is not sufficient for them to afford a decent house outside,” he said.
Dr TD Yadav, President, PGIMER Faculty Association, said, the administration is proactive in recruiting faculty but is not paying any heed to their needs. Over 250 faculty are forced to stay on rent outside the campus.
“If proper measures are not taken, the PGI faculty will be forced to resort to protest. We will take a call on this in the next meeting,” said Yadav.
“The PGI administration should make all operation theatres (OTs) functional that are nonfunctional like in OPD and emergency areas. Also proper OT time utilization should be ascertained,” demanded the governing body members at this meeting.
The problem of infrastructure was also highlighted by the PGI administration. The employees complained of new faculty being recruited without infra structural provisions being made. “In surgical branches, new faculty members are getting just a half OT table every week. Many have not been provided with offices and in some instances a faculty office is being shared by up to eight colleagues,” Dr.Yadav told the HT.
“The governing body in its meeting in January 2017 had sought review of existing professor posts which are not required by the departments. But no such review has taken place and these posts were advertised,” said Dr Yadav.
“At the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi (AIIMS), New Delhi, no direct recruitment has taken place after 2005, at the level of professor,” he added.