The Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) doesn’t have provision of “legal bond system” to retain super specialists it trains, resulting in loss to the state health sector, doctors said on Tuesday.
In 2017, the SKIMS adopted National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to its 14 DM and MCh courses, opening avenues for candidates from outside the state. A source in SKIMS said that after the adoption of NEET system, about 70 percent of candidates who were admitted to DM and MCh courses at the institute belonged to states other than J&K.
“Only five out of 14 candidates were from J&K. Earlier, there used to be just a couple of candidates doing super specialty courses in the SKIMS from outside. Now, just a few candidates from J&K are doing super specialty courses here,” a senior doctor at SKIMS said.
Most states, in a bid to retain super specialists getting training from their medical colleges, have put in place a legal bond system. This system makes it mandatory for a candidate to work in the state or the institution where he is admitted to super speciality course, failing which he/she is liable to pay penalty ranging from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 2 crore in some states.
However, SKIMS is among the few medical colleges in India where there is no bond system. The absence of this bond system gives the beneficiary candidates leeway to leave the institution and the state after completion of degree.
Since the 2018-19 DM/MCh results have already been declared and the counseling is scheduled to begin from 1 August, voices have gone shriller demanding that SKIMS must put in place a system to ensure retention of super specialists.
“Our candidates are ready to serve here. Why should they not be preferred to a candidate who is not ready to serve here,” an aspirant told
He demanded that the bond system should be adopted at the institute also. “Let only those candidates get permission as are ready to serve the institute,” said the doctor.Another senior doctor called for adoption of the system prevailing in outside states. “When our candidates opt for institutes outside J&K, they have to sign a bond undertaking that they will serve there, but the candidates from outside state have no such obligation in here,” said the medico.
Kashmir is facing the dearth of super specialists. A senior medical faculty at SKIMS said that owing to several health projects in the pipeline including the medical colleges and two AIIMS, as also due to faculty shortages in the existing medical colleges, the state needs have in place a system to retain the specialized manpower.
However, officials in SKIMS had a differing view on the issue. Director and Dean SKIMS, Dr Omar Javed Shah said that dearth of posts and funds was an “impediment”.