Stressing the need for renewed focus on academic and research activities in the State’s healthcare institutions, Governor N N Vohra on Monday said the functioning of Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Soura involves important socio-economic concerns which effect public healthcare in J&K State.
“The Government’s immediate concern is to restore the professional and academic stature of this premiere teaching, training, research, and healthcare institution, Governor observed while chairing the first meeting of the restructured SKIMS Governing Body here this evening.
B B Vyas, K Vijay Kumar and Khurshid Ganai, Advisors to Governor and, B V R Subrahmanyam, Chief Secretary, attended the meeting as Members of the reconstructed Governing Body.
Governor observed that while infrastructure upgradation is crucial to providing improved healthcare facilities, there should be a matching thrust on the advancement of academic and research activities. Governor noted that “there has to be renewed focus on streamlining SKIMS functioning to secure the trust and esteem of the public at large and all stakeholders,” and added that to achieve these objectives it has to be ensured that the services and the quality of healthcare is significantly enhanced and there is regular flow of information about the outcomes in academics and research.
Governor observed that the challenges facing the Institute have both internal and external dimensions and need to be tackled simultaneously to streamline the functioning of this premiere healthcare institute. He also called for tangible measures to prevent brain-drain from the Institute and, to ensure that the autonomous character of the Institute is not eroded, the Government should leave the Director to be responsible for managing the internal affairs of SKIMS. “It is the responsibility of the SKIMS doctors and the faculty to ensure proper functioning internally and ensure that the patient care and teaching do not suffer on any account” and added that the Institute has among the best Faculties in place and it is their bounden duty to make its functioning and healthcare delivery more efficient.
Governing Body advised various measures to improve the functioning of the Institute including filling up all vacant faculty positions on a time-bound basis, more focus on research, setting research targets for the Faculty, setting up Department of Clinical Research, involving SKIMS in the training of staff from Health Services institutions in the peripheries, deputing clinicians/staff from SKIMS periodically to various medical institutions of eminence like AIIMS New Delhi/PGI Chandigarh for capacity building and setting up new and much-needed super-specialty Faculties so that patients do not have to travel long distances for treatment.
“It was decided that a Sub-Committee would be constituted within the SKIMS for undertaking a regular review of all aspects of functioning and to address the arising problems with clearance of the Standing Finance Committee of SKIMS,” an official statement said.
Governor ordered immediate utilisation for funds for construction of State Cancer Institute and Cath Lab at SKIMS besides regularization of 179 Casual Workers who fulfill the norms. Governing Body approved Rs. 8 crores for Cath Lab and 10% state share for State Cancer Institute which is coming up at a cost of Rs 120 crore.
Issues relating to de-linking of SKIMS Medical College Bemina; administrative control of Maternity & Child Care Hospital Bemina; re-engagement of retired Faculty; construction of Hostels and revenue generation were discussed in the meeting and appropriate decisions are taken.
The meeting was informed that the Bed Capacity of the SKIMS Soura has been increased from 500 to 927 with 48000 patients being admitted annually in the Institute.
Giving details, Director SKIMS informed the meeting that in 2017 around 10 lakh patients visited the Out-patient Department of the Institute and 28000 surgeries were conducted during this period.
The meeting was attended by Naveen Kumar Chaudhary, Principal Secretary Finance, Dr Pawan Kotwal, Principal Secretary, Health & Medical Education; Rohit Kansal, Principal Secretary, Planning & Development, Dr M S Khuroo, Dr Puneet Dhar from AIIMS Cochin, Prof Samia Rashid, Principal Government Medical College Srinagar, Dr Sunanda, Principal, Government Medical College, Jammu; Dr Omar Javaid Shah, Director SKIMS and Dr Riyaz Untoo, Principal SKIMS Medical College Bemina.