STATE OF POOR HEALTHCARE: 7 specialty GMC hospitals run by ad hoc administrators

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Seven specialty hospitals of the Government Medical College Srinagar are run by the administrators who have been appointed on ad hoc basis, often arbitrarily. Reason: a decade ago, an aspirant got the selection of deputy medical superintendents stayed in court and the government has failed to get the case resolved since.
Last week, when the government appointed a doctor with no experience in hospital administration as in-charge medical superintendent, it raised many eyebrows. However, this is not the first case of arbitrary appointment for the post of medical superintendent. 
There are eight posts of deputy medical superintendents (Dy MS) and six posts of medical superintendents (MS) in eight hospitals of the GMC Srinagar. Only one of these posts has been filled as per the rules; the remaining 13 posts have been filled arbitrarily from time to time. 
Senior faculty members at the GMC Srinagar said that due to the failure of authorities to fill the posts as per the rules, doctors who were “close to corridors of power” are given the charge of these hospitals, affecting administration.
While the only MS selected through the proper procedure has been posted at the Super Specialty Hospital, the other hospitals– SMHS Hospital, Chest Disease Hospital, Psychiatric Diseases Hospital, Bone & Joints Hospital, Lal Ded Hospital, GB Pant Children Hospital and Kashmir Nursing Home —are being run by ad hoc administrators, some of them of the level of medical officers and a few who are senior faculty members.
A senior professor at the GMC Srinagar said: “The filling of these posts with doctors who seldom satisfy the criteria for either Dy MS or MS has often made news for alleged nepotism. Why isn’t the government putting in place the proper system?”
As per records, health and medical education department (H&ME) of government had referred six posts of Dy MS in GMC Srinagar to the JK Public Service Commission (JKPSC), and in 2007, interviews were held. However, right from the beginning, the selection process, eligibility criteria and finally the selection list landed in court.
Since then, the matter has not been resolved, pending which no new selections for the vacant posts of Dy MS, the feeding cadre to the post of MS have been made.
In January 2017, H&ME wrote a letter (ME Gaz 47/2016) to GMC Srinagar seeking “factual report” regarding the “continued ad hocism on administrative posts of associated hospitals of the GMC Srinagar”, manipulation of certificates, as well as misleading of honourable court.
GMC Srinagar, in its reply dated 15 May 2017, furnished a report, based on findings of a three-member inquiry committee.
However, a source in H&ME said that despite the clear findings and recommendations of the report, the lackadaisical approach of authorities towards the case had resulted in such a long delay in settling the case. He said that for years, no lawyer from government presented the case or the facts in court.
Although two posts of Dy MS had been advertised by the JKPSC in February 2017, no progress was made on selections.
Principal GMC Srinagar Prof Samia Rashid said: “We have submitted all the requisite documents and details to the health and medical education department. The posts, as well as the eligibility criteria, have been forwarded to the PSC and we are waiting for them.” 
The chairman of the JKPSC did not respond to repeated calls and text messages.

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