New Delhi: The Health ministry, which is struggling to make six new AIIMS fully functional due to unavailability of suitable candidates, has now decided to hire retired doctors, who have worked in premier medical institutes of the country, on contract.
The government will hire retired doctors on contract basis as various faculty positions of professors, additional and associate professors in most of the clinical disciplines are lying vacant despite two rounds of vacancy filling exercises.
The six new All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) — Rishikesh, Jodhpur, Bhopal, Raipur, Patna and Bhubaneshwar — are yet to become fully functional due to lack of doctors and faculty.
“Approval of the competent authority is conveyed for engagement of retired faculty at the level of professor, additional professor and associate professor, on contract basis, in new AIIMS, up to the age of 70 years, from institutes of national importance (INIs) and government medical colleges (GMCs),” the order read.
According to a senior health ministry official, all the six new AIIMS are unable to start out-patient and in-patient department services in a number of speciality and super- speciality disciplines due to faculty crunch.
“We advertised twice. Last year, we advertised 1,300 posts for the AIIMS at Jodhpur, Bhopal, Patna, Raipur, Bhubaneswar and Rishikesh but could only fill up 200 posts. Most of them were found to be unsuitable for the positions,” the official said.
The contractual engagement of retired faculty would be against vacant regular posts in new AIIMS and there would be continued attempts for direct recruitment of faculty by open advertisements.
The retired faculty consultant will report to the Director of the institute, the terms and conditions read.
Participation of retired faculty consultant in national seminars or conferences would be permissible as per entitlement of regular faculty.
In case retired faculty consultant is also deputed out of station on official assignment, TA/DA would be paid on tour, as admissible, as per entitlement against post last held immediately before retirement.
“Private practice of any kind, including laboratory and consultant practice is prohibited,” the terms and conditions stated.
During the period of contract, the engagement is liable to be terminated at any time with a month notice without assigning any reason whatsoever.
It will be open to the institute to pay, in lieu of notice, salary for the period by which the notice period falls short.
If at any time, in the opinion of the competent authority, which is final in this matter, retired faculty consultant is found non-performing or guilty of any offence, disorderly behaviour, negligence or any other conduct considered by the competent authority, deterrent to the interest of AIIMS or violation of one or more terms and conditions, his or her services may be terminated without notice.
A high-powered committee, headed by M K Bhan, former secretary in the Department of Biotechnology, constituted to look at the governance structure of all the new AIIMS, had made these proposals to the ministry.
Over the last two years, the AIIMS at Jodhpur has been able to fill up 47 per cent of its vacancies, followed by Bhubaneshwar which filled up 45 per cent vacancies, Rishikesh had 43 per cent vacancies filled, Bhopal had 35 per cent, and Raipur just 24 per cent.
The AIIMS at Patna has been able to fill up only 17 per cent of its faculty positions.