JORHAT, Jan 12 - Shortage of teaching faculty members and nursing staff has affected the functioning of the Jorhat Medical College and Hospital (JMCH), the second government medical college set up in Upper Assam after the Assam Medical College and Hospital in Dibrugarh.
The JMCH, the foundation of which was laid by former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on August 25, 2008, has 500 beds. The college has an intake capacity of 100 students. Three batches have passed out since the MBBS course was launched in 2010. Another batch will pass out soon with results expected to be declared by the end of this month.
Interacting with media persons at the JMCH today, the Principal-cum-Chief Superintendent, Dr Debojit Hazarika, said in response to a specific query that there was a shortage of teaching faculty and nursing staff which was putting strain on the present employees while rendering service to patients on the one hand and teaching medical students on the other.
Hazarika said at present 40 posts of teaching faculty under different categories were lying vacant, including 23 newly-sanctioned posts for postgraduate courses in all the nine clinical departments. The proposal in this regard has already been submitted to the Medical Council of India and approval is being awaited.
He said that currently seven postgraduate courses on pre-clinical and para-clinical courses were under way with one PG batch already passing out. The principal said the JMCH has at present over 150 teaching staff in various categories. There are nine clinical and 13 pre- and para-clinical departments in the institute.
Hazarika said in case of nursing staff, there are 40 vacant posts while another 40 (in both cases the posts are under various categories) in the past two months have been transferred out of the JMCH, making the total number of vacant posts 82. He added that the current strength of nurses working in the JMCH is 341 (excluding vacancies).
The principal said the recruitment of teaching staff is done by the Directorate of Medical Education, while the Directorate of Health Services (both directorates are under the State Health Department) appoints the nurses. He said reminders to carry out the recruitment have been sent to both the directorates in recent times.
Hazarika further said that the process of installing a cath lab to detect and treat various cardiac diseases was on. He added that a neurosurgery department, too, was expected to be opened soon with the Government posting a neurosurgeon at the JMCH. The neurosurgeon, Dr Amrit Saikia, is treating and conducting surgeries at the operation theatre of the General Surgery department.
Assistant Professor (General Surgery department) Nilutpal Bhattacharyya, who is also the Public Relations Officer of the JMCH, said that recently a mammography machine, a viral research diagnostic laboratory and a Vitreous 5.5 Auto Analyser have been installed in the college.
Bhattacharyya said the mammography machine would be able to screen and detect breast cancer, the sophisticated viral research diagnostic laboratory will be used to test for viral diseases like H1N1 (swine flu), Japanese Encephalitis and chikungunya, while the Vitreous 5.5 Auto Analyser will be used to check a wide range of blood parameters in patients.
Bhattacharyya also disclosed that the JMCH has awarded contract to a private firm after inviting tenders to maintain cleanliness inside the six buildings of the institute and across the campus. The firm, which will operate from this month-end, will also be responsible for carrying out waste disposal (including biomedical waste) of the JMCH.