AIIMS staff crunch : 47 posts of professors are vacant
NEW DELHI: India’s premiere All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), which sees a footfall of 10,000 patients a day to attend OPDs alone, is crippled by an acute shortage of manpower. The Parliamentary standing committee on health says 303 posts of assistant professors are lying vacant.
Nearly 47 posts of professors, additional professors (9), associate professors (16) and nursing lecturers (13) are lying empty.
Presenting their report at the Rajya Sabha on April 25, the committee has slammed AIIMS for the crisis, saying “With so many posts lying vacant at faculty level, it would be practically difficult for the Institute to maintain high standards of patient care and teaching for which it has been known for decades. Nearly 1,468 posts in total at AIIMS lie vacant.”
Reacting to the Committee’s report, deputy director of AIIMS Vineet Chawdhry said, “Among the 303 empty posts of assistant professors, 140 were created in February, 2012. We actually have around 200 vacancies among the teaching faculty. We have advertised for 115 posts of assistant professors and April 27 and 28 are the final round of interviews. Till now we have offered the job to 55 doctors of which 27 have joined. By mid-May we should have around 60 more joining in the assistant professor level.”
Ironically, even though so many posts are lying empty, AIIMS has informed the Committee that the number of students passing out from the institute far exceed the job opportunities available there.
Hence, the institute would not be in a position to offer a job to every student passing out from it.
Earlier, the Committee had asked AIIMS to utilize the services of students passing out. The Committee said, “It is surprising that an institute like AIIMS has expressed its inability to retain students passing out after graduation. The committee implores upon AIIMS to explore the possibility of implementing its suggestion without any further delay.”
The Committee said it was informed that 160 faculty posts have been created in addition to 34 posts approved by the academic committee. “The Committee was further informed that these 194 vacancies would be advertised after finalization of roster,” the report said.
The Committee also took a strong stand on “the huge mismatch in doctors patient ratio in OPD, even if the vacant posts are filled up in the near future.”
It said, “The committee cannot remain a mute spectator to the appalling circumstances prevailing in such a reputed institute like AIIMS which is a role model for medical institutes across the country.”
It added that the administration of AIIMS needs to initiate a blue print to ensure a decent doctor patient ratio.
A recent study conducted by the hospital administration department of AIIMS saw that three-fourth of the faculty members interviewed said their department was understaffed. About 90% of the faculty disagreed that AIIMS has adequate strength.
Hamstrung by the shortage and increasing overload of patients, at least one-third of the faculty members at AIIMS are compelled to work even on Sundays and other holidays. Three in four faculty members felt that the official working hours are inadequate for finishing their routine work.
On an average, a faculty member worked for 55 hours and 47 minutes far in excess of official working hours of 42 hours and 30 minutes in a week. In absolute numbers, it works out to 13 hours 27 minutes or 31.2% excess time per week.
An AIIMS faculty member said, “We sacrifice our personal time for the good of the nation. AIIMS is a tertiary care referral institute par excellence providing the best in terms of education, research and patient care in the country. The proportion of time the faculty spends plays a major role in determining the quality of research, education and patient care.”