Fill 1,686 vacancies without delay: Parliamentary Panel slams PGI Chandigarh
Chandigarh: The Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) recently got slammed by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare over its failure to fill up around 1,686 vacancies.
The committee in its report pointed out that a total number of 36 posts of Professor are vacant at the institute against the sanctioned strength of 70 i.e. more than 50 per cent. Besides, there are also 91 vacant posts of assistant professor against the sanctioned strength of 652.
Apart from the vacancies, the Parliamentary Panel also questioned the Union Health Ministry over the delay in completing the pending project of PGI Satelite Centre at Sangrur.
The committee also referred to the delay in the process of modernization of different blocks of PGIMER.
With PGIMER's prominence as a centre of excellence in the region, the patient load at the institute has constantly gone up in the past decades to present levels. The emergency and routine services are finding it difficult to cope with the patient load.
As per the latest media report by The Tribune, referring to the 1,686 vacant posts at the Institute, the committee directed PGI to address the issue of shortage of workforce at all levels and fill the vacant posts at various levels at the earliest.
Although the institute fills up vacancies twice every year, a huge number of posts including Professor and Assistant Professor are lying vacant.
Responding to the Committee, the Institute informed that around 150 promotional posts of different categories could not be filled as a result of pending court cases. So, the institute is planning to approach the Supreme Court and pray for vacating the status quo. This would help filling up a lot of promotional posts of ministerial, nursing and technical cadres.
Apart from this, the institute also informed the panel that it had employed supporting staff such as laboratory attendants, hospital attendants and medical record technicians via outsourcing agencies.
Another major issue that the Parliamentary Committee referred to was the pending project of Satellite centre at Sangrur.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that taking note of the increasing workload at the institute, three satellite centres of PGIMER had been sanctioned by the Central Government in Una in Himachal Pradesh, and Sangrur and Ferozepur, both in Punjab.
A budget of Rs 449 crore and 300 beds have been sanctioned for the centre in Sangrur while Rs 490.5 crore have been sanctioned for the satellite centre in Ferozepur.
As per the latest media report by the Times of India, submitting a report before both the houses of the Indian Parliament, a Parliamentary Standing committee led by Ram Gopal Yadav pointed out that there has been a huge delay in constituting the project at Sangrur.
Referring to the action taken report of the Union Health Ministry, the Parliamentary panel pointed out that it had been claimed in that report that the project was 98% complete and it was expected to be finished by December 2021.
However, the Ministry has recently informed in a written submission, that the project is now expected to be completed by June 2022.
Dissatisfied with the delay, the committee in its report asked the Ministry for providing explanation for the extension of the deadline.
"The project was 98 per cent complete and the expected date of completion was December 2021. However, the, ministry, in its written submission, has stated that the project is now expected to complete by June this year. The committee wants to know the reason behind extending deadlines when the project is almost complete," read the report.
"The PGI satellite centres at Sangrur, Una and Ferozepur be completed without delay in order to cater to the healthcare needs of the patients who account for more than 1 lakh admissions every year and close to 30 lakh patients in OPDs annually," the committee further mentioned in its report.
Apart from the satellite centre, the Parliamentary Panel also referred to the project of 'modernisation of Research Block A and B and modernisation of Nehru Hospital' and noted that the delay was mainly caused by the non performance by the construction agency which had been allotted the work back in 2013.
In this respect, the panel advised the Ministry for appointing a project management consultant agency without any delay, so that the modernization and development work of Sarangpur Campus gets completed soon.