Mrunal Manmay Dash

The Dharanidhar Medical College and Hospital in Keonjhar has come under immense criticism after an RTI report revealed the sorry state of affairs.

As per an RTI query, the 100-seated medical college has 80 percent faculty positions vacant and has been running with 19 contractual staff including the Medical Superintendent.

The medical college has nine senior resident positions in Emergency Medicines department and all the nine are contractual faculty. The General Medicines department has only one contractual professor while three associate professor and similar number of senior resident doctor positions are lying vacant.

The department of Anatomy, vital for medical education, has only one professor posted, and that too, a contractual one.

RTI activist, Pradeep Pradhan said, “Entire teaching staff of Keonjhar Medical College is contractual. This is one of a kind and a mockery of our medical education. Apart from Keonjhar, other medical colleges also do not have sufficient professors to teach.”

The sorry state of affairs is not limited to Keonjhar only. In fact, other colleges like, Fakir Mohan Medical College in Balasore, Bhima Bhoi Medical College in Bolangir and Pandit Raghunath Murmu Medical College in Baripada are grappling with acute shortage of staff.

“The government will have to provide medical students degrees in 5.5 years, with or without teaching them. How will they treat patients? The government needs to think this seriously, because it is directly related to the wellbeing of our country,” said Dr Madhusudan Mishra, Former President of OMSA.

Asked about the dearth of staff in the College, Superintendent of DD Medical College, Mahendra Nayak said, “The government has been recruiting staff as per the availability and guidelines.”

“We have a sanctioned staff strength of 214. Out of that 137 positions have been filled and rest are lying vacant,” said Manorama Bhuyan, Medical Administrator, Fakir Mohan Medical College, Balasore.

However, the Health department has denied shortage of staff in medical colleges. Health secretary, Shalini Pandit said, “The OPSC has recently published advertisement to recruit for 3000 doctor posts. We are targeting to fill 90 percent of MBBS posts by September this year.”

(Reported By Pranay Pani & Chandan Paikray, OTV)