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Medical colleges to witness exodus of doctors

STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, April 3: Notwithstanding crores of rupees spent on setting up new medical colleges in Assam, senior as well as junior doctors are preparing to quit the existing colleges citing poor job satisfaction.
While a large number of senior doctors from Gauhati Medical College & Hospital, Assam Medical College & Hospital, Dibrugarh, Jorhat Medical College & Hospital, Tezpur Medical College & Hospital, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed Hospital & College, Barpeta and Silchar Medical College & Hospital have applied for the Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS), a good number of young doctors from these hospitals are also ready to quit their jobs.
A doctor needs to give 20 years of service to apply for VRS. Even though senior faculty members have applied for VRS citing health ground, sources told The Sentinel that most of them are frustrated with the overall working environment in State’s medical colleges. The situation has reached such a pass that even doctors with only a few years of service have tendered resigtion and many are planning to do so citing poor job satisfaction.
A senior doctor preparing to apply for VRS told this reporter that lack of a transparent transfer and posting policy has frustrated many doctors like him. He said there are several instances where a section of doctors has been serving the same medical colleges (especially in GMCH & AMCH) for years together. Some other doctors are frequently transferred, more so during the inspection of the colleges by the Medical Council of India (MCI).
On the other hand, senior doctors posted in Barpeta, Tezpur and Jorhat medical colleges are feeling discrimited over the fact that while their counterparts with the same qualification are teaching postgraduate students in Guwahati, Silchar and Dibrugarh, they have to teach only the undergraduate students.
“Doctors, besides their high qualifications and professiol acumen, need to be in the good book of Dispur, especially the health department to get prime posting,” another senior doctor said.
Even though the State Health Department officials refused to accept grounds offered by senior doctors to leave government hospitals, the development would not go down well particularly with the medical education system in the State.
“If senior doctor are leaving government medical colleges, there will be a severe crunch in faculty members to teach future doctors. Medicine is subject where experience matters a lot to teach future generation,” a young doctor said.
The MCI recently rejected the Assam government’s proposal to introduce postgraduate courses in important subjects in Barpeta, Jorhat and Tezpur medical colleges due to idequate faculty members. Even though it had found infrastructure at the said medical colleges adequate, shortage of faculty members has come in the way of introduction of postgraduate courses.

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Ankur Kalita