'Standalone' Status Sought for CMC
The takeover imbroglio of Cochin Medical College has taken a new twist with the high-level committee appointed to supervise the procedures suggesting that the institute be kept as ‘standalone’, pointing out hurdles for integrating it with the government.
The proposal, which is alleged to suit the interests of the CMC hospital staff, will be tabled in the Cabinet on Wednesday.
Dr V Geetha, Director of Medical Education (DME), has confirmed that this was one among the many suggestions by the committee.
“Since there are many explicit bottlenecks in integrating the existing staff, the suggestion is to keep it as a ‘stand-alone’ body like the Regional Cancer Centre, until all the hurdles are removed,” she said.
Triggering further confusion to the development, the Health Secretary, on the other hand, said that as of now no such proposal has been mooted. “Of course, there was such a proposal earlier. But it was rejected by the government,” said Health Secretary K Ellangovan.
Works Minister V K Ebrahim Kunju, who also represents Kalamassery, promised that no such move will be encouraged. “If it has to be made an autonomous body, it should have been kept under the Cooperative Academy of Professional Education (CAPE),” he said.
Dismissing the DME’s claims, the Minister assured that the institution will be under the government at all costs. Justice V R Krishna Iyer expressed shock over the incident and said that the “his efforts of one-and-a-half years are going awry”.
The volunteers of Justice V R Krishna Iyer campaign termed it a conspiracy to protect the interests of the hospital staff.
“Many professors without an MBBS degree are working there as per the rule that the hospital can appoint such staff when there is a dearth of people with the degree. But they will not be eligible for promotion. Unfortunately, there are many such staff who were promoted as assistant professors,” they pointed out.
As per Medical Council of India rules, a medical director should hold a post-graduate degree with suffice teaching experience. If the institution comes under the government, it will have to adhere to the PSC norms for staff selection that will topple several political appointments already made,” said Dr Sanil Kumar of Justice Iyer Campaign for Cancer Centre.