Thursday, May 15, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Medical officers land college in the soup
Audit objects; relieve them, says Principal
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 14
Even as about 40 per cent vacant posts of professors, assistant professors and lecturers may lead to the de-recognition of the local medical college by the Medical Council of India (MCI) any time, the posting of 60 medical officers against the vacancies of faculty members has led to audit objections.

On the basis of the audit objections, college Principal Dr H.S. Bedi has written to the government to repatriate all medical college teachers. In a letter to the Principal Secretary, Medical Education and Research, Dr Bedi has said, “Medical officers had been adjusted against teaching posts (senior lecturer, lecturer and senior resident) in the past. As per norms of the MCI, the posts of medical officer non-teaching are not required in medical colleges. Moreover, these officers are not teaching undergraduate or postgraduate students. So, this is in the interest of the students that these medical officers may immediately be relieved and asked to report to their parent cadre and the posts against which they are working may immediately be filled from teaching cadre. Moreover, the pay of these officers has exhausted the budget of the medical college, which is adversely affecting teaching and research work”.

The medical officers who have been working against the vacant posts claim that most of them are due for promotion as assistant professor. However, the departmental promotion committee has been sitting over the files. In case the medical officers are repatriated, the working of the college will be adversely affected. The medical officers claim that many of them have been taking classes for the last many years and certain officers have attended medical conferences at the international level.

However, the audit objection raised on the posting of medical officers against the vacancies of teaching faculty reads, “A test check of the records revealed that against the vacant posts of lecturer and senior lecturers, which were to be filled by qualified teaching staff, medical officers with postgraduate qualifications had been adjusted. Medical officers were supposed to work in their departments corresponding to their qualifications on a sanctioned post for the purpose. The irregularities has caused irregular expenditure of Rs 90 lakh from May, 2002, to April, 2003”. Dr Bedi claims that the college has been spending Rs 1.5 crore per annum on the medical college.

Interestingly, the decision of the college Principal to transfer the medical officers has raised eyebrows. Most of the medical officers who have been directed to work in the new departments will not be able to attend to the patients as they are not experts in this field.

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