Tamil Nadu

Streamlining of doctor posts goes awry in Tamil Nadu

Directorate of Medical Education at Kilpauk in Chennai

Directorate of Medical Education at Kilpauk in Chennai   | Photo Credit: Vino John

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In a massive exercise meant to adhere to norms prescribed by the Medical Council of India, the Directorate of Medical Education recently completed restructuring the posts of 4,926 doctors.

A number of doctors, including specialists and super specialists, were posted to specialties other than their own when the Directorate of Medical Education (DME) recently restructured the posts of 4,926 doctors.

According to documents pertaining to staffing from various medical colleges, one urologist has been posted to the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery in a government medical college. In another institution, an endocrine surgeon has been posted to the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, while doctors with qualification in MS Orthopaedics have been posted to the Department of Neuro Surgery in another institution.

The massive exercise was conducted to adhere to the norms prescribed by the Medical Council of India (MCI).

 As part of the exercise, the government streamlined teaching posts sanctioned in state-run medical colleges under the DME in accordance with patient care requirements. The exercise aimed at ‘fitment’ and ‘redistribution’ of doctors ended up far from being rational, a section of doctors said, adding that several of them have been relocated to specialties not of their own. 

Documents pertaining to staffing from various medical colleges show that a number of doctors, including specialists and super specialists, were posted to specialities other than their own. 

At the Mohankumaramangalam Medical College, Salem, doctors with qualification in MS (Orthopaedics), MCh (Urology), MD (Anaesthesia), MCh (Urology) and DLO were posted as assistant professors and senior residents in the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery. Doctors with MD in Physiology and Anaesthesia were posted to the Department of Radiodiagnosis, and MD in Microbiology to the Department of Geriatric Medicine.

A doctor with MCh Urology was posted as senior resident in Anaesthesiology, while another doctor with the same superspeciality was posted to the Surgical Gastroenterology department at Vellore Medical College. At Madras Medical College, doctors with MCh (Urology) and MS (ENT) were posted in Cardiothoracic Surgery, while at the Tamil Nadu Multi-Super Speciality Hospital, doctors with MCh (Urology), DA, MCh (Endocrine Surgery) and DLO were posted to the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery. Similarly, doctors with MS in Orthopaedics were posted to the Department of Neuro Surgery.

At Coimbatore Medical College, a doctor with DM (Cardiology) was posted in the Department of Nephrology. At Thanjavur Medical College, doctors with MS in Orthopaedics and ENT were posted at the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery.

At Stanley Medical College, a doctor with MS in Ophthalmology was posted at the Cardiothoracic Surgery. At KAP Viswanathan Medical College, Tiruchi, doctors with MS in ENT were posted in Neuro Surgery department.

While a cross-section of doctors agrees that the exercise was essential to fulfil MCI norms, they pointed out that the restructuring has left many hospitals with lesser number of doctors.

Additional posts

“Last year, the government decided to bring in additional posts in medical colleges to satisfy MCI norms, but the Finance department was hesitant as it will require more money for salaries. So, no new posts were added but the posts that were meant for patient care were converted into posts that satisfy MCI norms. The norms are only the bare minimum needed and if there are more patients coming to a hospital, it will need more doctors,” a government doctor said.

“What will an urologist or endocrinologist do in Cardiothoracic Surgery? If they work for their parent department, as the government has informed us, this department will be left with no doctors to take care of patients. Some doctors are displaced within departments,” he added.

Another doctor said, “This displacement included a number of senior doctors, who were shifted to affiliated institutions of medical colleges. A number of lower level posts such as residents to assistant professors were reduced.”

An official said of the sanctioned posts of 5,400 under the directorate, 4,926 posts of doctors were restructured as per MCI norms on the basis of seniority.

“No doctor has been displaced. Only 34 MBBS doctors were shifted from their original college. In departments that had more number of posts, we have shifted the doctors to other departments in the same institution. They will receive their salary, and their services can be utilised by their own department if needed,” he said.

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Printable version | Dec 10, 2019 2:27:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/streamlining-of-doctor-posts-goes-awry-in-tamil-nadu/article30119552.ece

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