Two Punjab GMCs (of Patiala and Amritsar) are facing trouble for appointment of principals, who have been allegedly charged with violation of rules. Both the doctors were appointed by the Punjab Medical Education and Research Minister Anil Joshi.
As per the Punjab Medical Education (Group-A) Service Rules, 2016, the principal of a GMC or a medical superintendent at GMC cannot be a HOD of the same medical college. The only exception to this rule is that they are given permission for teaching and practicing in the department. They can also remain in charge of a unit, the rules imply.
However, Dr BS Bal, Principal, GMC Amritsar has been appointed as the HOD of medicine. The earlier HOD Dr Pritam Singh Sandhu has now retired. Similarly, Dr BL Bhardwaj, Principal GMC Patiala has been heading the department of medicine earlier.
There is another noted violation in the rule at GMC Amritsar. The Medical Superintendent (in charge of hospital), Dr RS Sharma is currently heading department of physiology. His appointment is also suspicious as he got the post in spite of the fact that was 33rd on the seniority list.
When contacted, Husan Lal, Secretary, Medical Education and Research, said to Tribune that they would make all appointments soon as per the rules notified in March.
In an earlier report (May 6), The Tribune had highlighted that Joshi ignored the service rules to pick his favourites for top posts in the Medical Education Department.
Only recently, GMC Amritsar had received an MCI approval to offer 50 more MBBS seats. The news confirmed brought cheers to many medical aspirants in the state as the college will now offer 200 medical seats, up from the existing 150. In addition, Patiala and Faridkot government medical colleges were granted renewal permission by MCI to fill 200 and 100 MBBS seats, respectively, for third year in a row. Now, the total number of seats has gone up to 500 in the state.
GMC Patiala was granted permission only after it adhered to the MCI compliance report expectations. MCI had earlier noted 37 per cent shortage of senior and junior doctors; lack of infrastructure with a shortage of emergency beds (only 20 instead of the required 30), and in addition, inadequate ventilator facility at the medical college.