HYDERABAD: The government's plan to create 1,000 additional MBBS seats in the coming academic year is beset with uncertainty. This is because associate professors and assistant professors in the state's medical colleges are fighting over promotions.
To cater to the additional students, the colleges need to recruit 275 more assistant professors. Before that recruitment can happen, some of the existing assistant professors and associate professors have to be promoted and sent one step up. But the profs are engaged in legal warfare over seniority.
A delegation from the Medical Council of India (MCI) is due to visit the state in March to certify whether medical colleges here have the requisite faculty to handle an additional intake of 1,000 students. With a long leeway to catch up, health minister D L Ravindra Reddy, special secretary (health) G Sudhir and their staff have been urgently counselling the profs to settle their issues out of court but so far the litgations show no signs of resolution.
Sources in the DME said 147 associate professors in the state's medical colleges are to be promoted to professor rank and 110 assistant professors are to be promoted to associate professor rank. Mny of these promotions are in the anaesthesia, paediatrics, surgery and orthopaedics specialisations.
But many promotion aspirants medical educators have filed cases contesting the seniority on their nearest competitor. Some of these cases have been stalled for nearly three years.
The DME cannot induct new assistant professors until the promotion wrangles are settled. Because of the logjam, many government hospitals in the state such as the Government Medical College, Anantapur, Kakatiya Medical College, Warangal, Siddhartha Medical College, Vijayawada and all four RIMS in Kadapa, Srikakulam, Adilabad and Ongole are beset with a shortage of faculty.
Given the existing faculty shortage, the MCI delegation is not likely to be impressed by the move to increase the number of MBBS seats. Therefore the urgency being shown by M/s Ravindra Reddy and Sudhir to speed up promotions and recruitment.
Some 85 surgeons have already been selected for induction as assistant professors. The DME has been working with the Director of Public Health and the Andhra Pradesh Vidya Vidhana Parisath to identify more potential recruits.