M A I N   N E W S

Punjab plans revamp of medical education
Move to recruit retired Army teachers, raise retiring age
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
To meet the shortage of teachers in medical colleges, the Punjab government has decided to look beyond the state to recruit teachers for such institutions. The Medical Council of India (MCI) is opposed to the perennial shortage of teachers in medical colleges of Punjab. To avoid de-affiliation, at the instance of the MCI, the Punjab government has been shifting teachers from one government medical college to another for years.

Sources said the authorities concerned had been looking for teachers retired from Army Medical College, Pune, and elsewhere. There is also a plan to raise the retiring age of medical teachers to 65 years as has been done at the Union government level for institutions like AIIMS.

In this connection, Prof J.S. Bajaj, deputy chairman, Punjab Planning Board, who has been told to revitalise the medical education in the state, said the Baba Farid University of Medical Sciences was an autonomous body and it could raise the retiring age of teachers in medical colleges affiliated to it.

He said a workable way at the moment was to recruit retired teachers and increase the retiring age of teachers on the verge of retirement. “We are on the job to deal with the shortcomings listed by the inspection team of the MCI in Guru Gobind Singh Medical College at Faridkot functioning under the direct control of Baba Farid university. The MCI team has given three months to remove the shortcomings,” said Professor Bajaj.

The vice-chancellor of Baba Farid University had been ensured adequate funds by the state and shortcomings were pointed out by the MCI team, which inspected the college on November 29 and 30 last year. It had communicated its report to the state government on February 12. “Action has started on the report,” said Professor Bajaj.

The MCI team had also pointed out that there should be a proper building for Guru Gobind Singh Medical College (GGSMC). “The Hospital Services Consultancy Corporation (HSCC), a government of India organisation, engaged by the state government, has already submitted the blueprint of the buildings to be constructed to house GGSMC, academic and Senate campuses of Baba Farid University. We are going to spend Rs 43.26 crore on GGSMC and it will be completed in 15 months. The academic campus will be set up at a cost of Rs 11.20 crore and the Senate campus with Rs 12.60 crore. All these buildings have been designed to be in complete harmony with the traditional beauty of Faridkot city,” said Professor Bajaj.

He said there was a programme to revitalise Government Medical College, Amritsar, established as Victorial Jubilee Hospital in 1891. He said a lot had been done in the case of medical college there. But a lot more was required to be done.

Telemedicine was being introduced in all government medical colleges. The PGI authorities had agreed to help spread the culture of telemedicine in the state, he said. Within two years, there would be a sea change in medical education and infrastructure in the state, he claimed.



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