Health department hit out at doctors on medical college issue

We don’t have the resources to keep everyone in capital complex: Commissioner

ITANAGAR, Apr 11: The Health department has hit out at the doctors who had alleged discrepancies by the department in its quest to get Letter of Permission (LOP) from the Medical Council of India to start Tomo Riba Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (TRIHMS). Responding to report which was carried in this daily where a group of doctors on condition of anonymity had alleged that the TRIHMS authorities misled the members of the Medical Council of India (MCI) who had come to inspect the institution prior to issuance of LoP by making up the number of faculty members, the Commissioner Health Kaling Tayeng gave the following statement, being published verbatim.
“Arunachal Pradesh is one of the very few States not having a Medical College. With the support of GoI, the State Govt is on the verge of achieving this goal. In such an endeavour, -start up issues will always remain whether for the newer IITs or NIITs or medical colleges. Specific issues of Faculty and Residents pointed out by the MCI inspection team have been replied to and taken up with the MCI and MoHFW. Even NEIGRIHMS which is a medical college of repute directly under the control of MoHFW and where our patients are flocking nowadays wasn’t accorded clearance by MCI while the first batch was on the verge of passing out. For that matter, most of the newer medical colleges of Assam are also struggling with faculty shortages. There is a dearth of qualified faculty for medical colleges all across. This is accentuated in a far flung place like ours. Even to get the current faculty in position, the Dir TRIHMS and team had to make six rounds of recruitment interviews in Guwahati after advertising in national dailies. Professors had to be begged to join. Many of our local talented and brilliant young doctors working in NEIGRIHMS and few other institutions outside have also joined at the Assistant Prof level. Faculty shortfall within a certain range is generally accepted by MCI.
Since the tenure of professors in an unrecognised Medical College doesn’t count, there is no incentive for a professor or associate professor to stay. For them, unceasing demand exists and with severe supply shortage in place, elementary market economics tells that they will move out if LoP permission doesn’t come.
Recently, the State Govt had absorbed 74 GDMOs with PG degrees into the specialist sub-cadre. The APPSC has also recruited 82 Junior Specialists during last week of March. There are common names in the lists of Residents in TRIHMS and in these lists. If and as and when the LoP approval comes, fresh recruitment of Residents will be made if there is a shortfall. This isn’t a big deal. People will come and go and the recruitment process will go on.
The proposed Medical College Hospital will continue to be a Referral Hospital under the State Govt run Society. The Society structure was created for the ease of recruiting and running a big institution. Nothing much changes here. National health programmes will continue to be run. As of now, there are no Tertiary Care facilities in this State. There are no ICU/CCU facilities anywhere here. A Medical College within the State will over time take care of thousands of patients every year who go out to places like Shillong/Guwahati and the Metros. It will be the most appropriate place for establishment of ICU/CCU. Most of the salvageable emergency cases of stroke, heart attacks, accidents and trauma cases which are lost in transit to tertiary hospitals in Assam will be saved by the Medical College. This obviously will not happen in a year but over a period of time as departments and specialities are added. The erstwhile General Hospital, Naharlagun (148 bed) and RKM Hospital ( 250 beds) were two secondary level hospitals acting as referral Hospitals for the State. Now that the GH Naharlagun has been upgraded and rechristened as TRIHMS Hospital and attached to the Medical College will be the much needed Tertiary Care referral Hospital of the State with ICU/CCU/ NICU/PICU, Advanced Trauma Care, Advanced blood bank, Cath. Lab ( Cardiac/Vascular & Neurological) etc facilities over time.
In the recently released Niti Aayog ranking of States, Arunachal Pradesh performed very poorly. One of the reasons is non functioning of most Distt/General Hospitals. In many Distt Hospitals like Seppa, Aalo, Changlang, Khonsa, there are hardly any doctors of the specialists cadre. In many other places except Pasighat and Naharlagun, there is a shortage. This is also a repeated issue raised by elected representatives during each session of the Legislative Assembly. During the transition of TRIHMS to a medical college, serving doctors of the APHS cadre already therein will continue to be there for about 3 years given the increasing patient load based on deptt wise assessment of real need. Excess doctors and in any case, all of them after the transition period of about 3 years will have to move out to the other Distt/General Hospitals. When there is severe shortage every where, why should the Govt keep them here? We just don’t have the resources to pay and keep everyone in the capital complex where as it is there isn’t a dearth of health care facilities. Isn’t it the duty of the Govt to ensure that people in the aforesaid Distts get the services of specialists? Nobody is forcing anyone including the undersigned(K Tayeng) to serve the Govt forever. If people shrouded in a veil of anonymity have big hospitals or roaring private practices or other alternatives for a comfortable livelihood, let younger, smarter, knowledgeable and more keen lot join. That applies to anyone in Govt. Bitter but true”.