New Delhi: The paucity of faculty has always been a matter of grave concern for the Ministry of Health and the Medical Council of India(MCI), in granting of seat approvals and recognition to medical colleges, all over India. So grave has been the situation that increases in the age of retirement from 60 to 65 and in some cases, even 70 have been afloat at the policy level, for quite a while. With 65 becoming the norm for retirement, a new leap in the form of ‘going home at 70’ is the latest proposal that the Ministry has agreed upon. Retirement at 70 years is being considered for those to be employed in the newly established regional centers of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences(AIIMS), all across the country.
The increase in age for professor retirement at AIIMS comes in the face of trying situations that exist when it comes to finding professors both in colleges and their affiliated hospitals in the country’s premier institute’s branches.
According to Ministry statistics, a mere 40% vacancies have been filled, with the remaining 60 % still lying vacant.
The Health Ministry’s recent relaxation of age for faculties at various centers, now allows retired professors to apply for faculty positions, only to retire at 70 years of age. This retired faculty to be considered for re employment does not necessarily have to be from among those who have retired from AIIMS, Delhi. They could be from the retired force, from any medical college of the country.
Union Health Secretary, CK Mishra talking to Mail Today said, “We are continuously floating advertisement for interviews of doctors. To overcome the shortage of doctors at regional AIIMS, now we are preparing a proposal for a major policy change by giving some relaxation in age to the doctors. Now, retired medical professors can also apply for the post. This would be on a contractual basis where professors can teach the students and give patient care as well.”
“Till December, our target is to increase doctors’ strength by 60 per cent and we would be able to run all the specialties smoothly. With this, patients would get the healthcare treatment in their State itself,” added Mishra.
He said though AIIMS- Bhopal, Raipur, Jodhpur, and Bhubaneswar were functioning in an improved manner, a major faculty crunch was being witnessed in Patna and Rishikesh.
A recent ministry advertisement called for nearly 1,200 doctors to join, however, a mere 300 medical professors decided to assist at the regional centers.
According to observations, the Delhi AIIMS which has a footfall of 16,000-17000 patients every day, mostly hail from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal and others; overburdening the country premier investigative healthcare facility. Earlier, this patient footfall happened to range between 8000 -10,000 reports India Today.