Medical students are worried they may lose some PG and super specialty seats for want of faculty in medical colleges after the ongoing transfers. (Representational Image/ DC File)
Vijayawada: The controversy over the ongoing transfer of government doctors who completed five years of service at one station refuses to die down. Medical students are meanwhile expressing concern over the likely loss of several PG and super specialty seats for want of adequate faculty in the medical colleges in AP.
AP has 28 medical colleges, of which 11 are in the government sector with nearly 2,300 PG seats apart from the 135-150 seats for various super specialty courses.
As per National Medical Commission norms, the presence of a professor in a department fetches two PG seats. For one associate professor, one PG seat is sanctioned. In case a medical college completes 10 years of its functioning, the post of a professor there fetches it three PG seats. As for super specialty courses, the post of a professor helps in the sanctioning of one student seat.
This rule being clear and the state government’s direction on transfers with a 30 per cent cap state-wide, and not department-wise, senior faculty members from several departments in medical colleges are getting transferred. This is resulting in some departments becoming totally vacant and nobody is coming in as replacement.
For instance, a professor and an associate professor from the department of nephrology in KGH in Visakhapatnam have been transferred to Guntur Medical College. This resulted in the department remaining fully vacant. There is no immediate replacement for them due to non-availability of faculty from the same department.
Similarly, in Kurnool Medical College, there is no professor in the department of biochemistry. In Sri Venkateswara Medical College, the post of associate professor in the same department is lying vacant. So is the case in several medical colleges for want of suitable faculty members.
Medical students are worried they may lose some PG and super specialty seats for want of faculty in medical colleges after the ongoing transfers. They say that the NMC takes up surprise inspection of medical colleges with no intimation given to any authority in AP. As per the norm, there must be a minimum of 30 per cent faculty in each department.
If it is found that several departments functioned with partial faculty members while some with no faculty at all, it may cancel both the PG and super specialty seats for the next year.
A PG medical student said, "We fear some 100 to 150 PG and super specialty seats may be lost in AP if the same trend on transfers continues mainly because of non-availability of suitable faculty members to fill the vacancies that arise due to transfers."
However, the state government is doing fresh recruitment of doctors and giving promotions to serving doctors. This would give some relief to students as some vacancies get filled and as a result the medical seats get saved.
Moreover, a senior specialist doctor can earn three to five lakh rupees per month if he or she chooses to work in corporate hospitals, over and above what they get from private practise. Hence, such doctors prefer to go on long leave to stay put at their present work place after accepting the transfer order. They get nearly Rs 1.5 lakh while working in government sector.
Two professors shifted to Kurnool with no replacement so far
No professor has been posted in the departments of psychiatry and general medicine after the existing faculty members have been transferred from the Government Medical College in Anantapur.
Professor Endluri Prabhakar has been transferred to Kurnool Medical College though there are non-PG seats in the college. Moreover, no professor has been posted in place of Endluri Prabhakar and there was no filling up of vacancy for the post of associate professor in the Government Medical College in Anantapur so far.
Sources revealed that at least 80 medical professionals including professors, doctors and nursing staff have been transferred from Anantapur to Kurnool, Kadapa and even to Srikakulam. A majority of them are expected to go on long leave after submitting their joining reports.
The post of professor in general medicine in GMC, Anantapur, remains vacant as the existing professor has been shifted to Kurnool.
Meanwhile, services at several medical colleges and government general hospitals have been hit in recent days for want of specialist doctors.