GUWAHATI, Feb 15 - A transparent transfer policy, AIIMS-like incentives and facilities and a time-bound promotion policy can help retain faculty in medical colleges of the State, feels Srimanta Sankaradeva University of Health Sciences vice chancellor Prof Umesh Chandra Sarma.
Sarma, who retires on February 16 after serving as the VC of the university for 10 years, said incentives like allowing doctors to attend national and international conferences for academic enlightenment at the cost of government money is important to retain the faculty in the government sector.
“If required, the government can frame appropriate rules under which doctors are sent for such conferences – both at the national level and abroad – at regular intervals. AIIMS-like facilities like quarters, and auxiliary and contingency expenses can also lure doctors to serve in the government sector,” Sarma told The Assam Tribune.
The current shortage of ‘entry-level’ specialist doctors in the medical colleges is around 200, while in the periphery hospitals, it is over 1,000. Currently, the number of sanctioned posts of entry-level PG doctors (in the rank of registrar/demonstrator) is 746. The requirement will shoot up in the coming days, with the setting up of new hospitals and institutions.
An attempt was made by the government some time back to formulate a transfer policy for doctors in the government sector, but it did not make much headway.
“The faculty needs encouragement. Time-bound promotion is another area which the government needs to address,” said Sarma, during whose period as the director of medical education (DME), the medical colleges at Jorhat, Barpeta and Tezpur, nursing colleges at Dibrugarh and Silchar and three paramedical institutes in the State were set up.
Asked about the quality of faculty being produced in the State, Sarma said the university has been conducting academic audit in its affiliated institutions periodically to ensure that proper standard of instruction, teaching and training are maintained. The academic audit report is sent to the heads of the institutions concerned for dissemination among the departments.
Evaluation of teachers’ performance by the students is also conducted by the university.
Sarma also said stress is being given to competency-based curriculum for the courses. “The curriculum planning is done with flexibility to suit the local health problems and situations for management,” he said.
Sarma said the university has also taken the step of including research methodology in the curricula of its affiliated health institutions.
The university has been organising training on research methodology to train the teachers and postgraduate students.
The university has signed MoUs with various institutions, including those from abroad, to develop collaborative academic activities and research of interdisciplinary nature involving faculty and students.