Waiting period for surgeries and neurology investigations gone up substantially

Attrition has adversely affected functioning of the Department of Neuro-Surgery at the prestigious All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) where the number of surgeries gradually declining. The waiting period for surgeries and neurology investigations, too, has gone up substantially.

According to the official figures, over 3,000 neuro-surgeries were performed at the AIIMS in 2005 but there has been a steady decline to about 2,500 in 2009. Three senior neuro-surgeons left the department in 2006.

As many as 43 senior faculty members have left AIIMS since 2005. While 24 resigned, 19 sought voluntary retirement.

Similarly, the waiting period for surgeries in the department has gone up to more than 2 years in 2009 from just about a year in 2002 and 1.5 years in 2006, and the waiting period of neurology investigations also increased to an average of two years in 2009 from a year in 2006 and six months in 2002.

Since 2005, 11 senior specialists have quit from the departments of medicine, paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology, radio diagnosis and psychiatry; five from surgery, anaesthesia, and orthopaedics; three from emergency medicine, ENT and haematology streams. Six faculty members from para-clinical and two from pre-clinical departments also left during this period. In the clinical super speciality fields, five left AIIMS for better avenues from neuro-surgery, neurology and neuro-radiology streams, three from cardiology, two from medical oncology, four from surgery, gastroenterology, urology and nephrology and two from nursing.

Posts vacant

As for vacancies in super speciality departments, of a sanctioned strength of 145 specialists, only 100 are recruited at present. The Department of Cardiology and Cardio-Thoracic Surgery has 11 vacancies against the sanctioned strength of 42, Medical Oncology has only four specialists as against 19 posts, six posts are lying vacant in the Department of Neurology and Neuro-Surgey, five in Gastroenterology and Surgery four in Nephrology and Urology and an equal number in other departments.

This is in addition to the already existing shortage of human resource in the institute where there has been no faculty intake since 2005. About 190 direct recruitment posts have not been filled and 105 eligible faculty members have not been promoted as the Standing Selection Committee last met in 2005. There is also a shortage of nursing staff to the tune of 16 per cent, para-medical technicians up to 20 per cent and administrative staff and faculty (30 per cent each).