State-run tertiary hospitals in Hyderabad could collapse

Preparing for June 2, when the new States of Telangana and the successor State of Andhra Pradesh will come into being, is akin to being on a razor edge for officials in charge of dividing the healthcare assets.

Every level of the government health sector faces challenges but only those assets and manpower that are “divisible” would be considered initially. Officials have alluded to the need for patience from both governments with regard to managing the health services in the two States.

The biggest fear here is the possibility of a collapse of the State-run tertiary hospitals in Hyderabad, which attract the largest number of patients and also have the highest number of MBBS and super-specialty seats as 50-60 per cent of professors and associate professors in the tertiary teaching hospitals, Gandhi Hospital and Osmania General Hospital, in Hyderabad are from the Seemandhra region.

While reallocating the administrative staff and other lower cadre healthcare workers, including assistant professors, is not a problem, shifting professors and associate professors to Andhra Pradesh could lead to State-run teaching hospitals losing Medical Council of India recognition .MCI restrictionsDirect recruitment of associate professors and professors is also not possible since MCI guidelines make it mandatory that an assistant professor must have five years’ teaching experience to become an associate professor.

Similarly, an associate professor needs to have four years of teaching experience to become a professor.

“We have to realise that there are no overnight solution to such difficult issues. As far as moveable assets are concerned, we have simply documented everything and are forwarding it to New Delhi,” Director of Medical Education, Andhra Pradesh, G. Shanta Rao says.