“The State Government shall take steps for filling up the posts of Medical Superintendent existing in Government Medical College and Hospital Jammu and its associated teaching hospitals by following the procedure envisaged by Rule 7 of 1979 Rules”
In alleged violation of laid rules and Act, Health and Medical Education (H&ME) Department has reportedly parachuted ‘yes man’ as Medical Superintendent of Government Medical College and Hospital (GMC&H), despite his being ‘ineligible’ for the post.
The move of the H&ME Department has evoked strong resentment among the fraternity, who call it ‘insensitivity’ on the part of those at the helm of affairs.
“At the time when corona is ever increasing in Jammu, the H&ME department instead of showing some sensitivity by appointing person of high acumen to the post of Medical Superintendent is busy in adjusting sycophants,” said a senior doctor, wishing anonymity, adding that the eligible doctors, having entitled to handle big Health Institutes like Government Medical College and Hospital Jammu, are being sidelined by the administration.
Pertinently, Government Order No 351-JK (HME) of 2021 Dated 30-4-2021 transferred two senior-most doctors, who had done specialization in Hospital Administration, but adjusted a Medical Officer Dr. ADS Manhas on the prime post of Medical Superintendent of GMC&H, which raised many eyebrows.
The ‘apathetic’ approach of the Health and Medical Education Department can be gauged from the recent transfer order of the Medical Superintendents of the Government Medical College and Hospital and Shri Maharaja Gulab Singh Hospital, wherein the qualified doctor, having Hospital Administration specialization, was ignored just to facilitate a Medical Officer (MO) Dr. ADS Manhas.
Meanwhile, a senior officer of H&ME Department, wishing anonymity, told The Typewriter that the bureaucrats are running the affairs of the Health Institutes as per their whims and fancies, which is completely against the rules and regulations.
“I am not sure, but it appears that the office of Lieutenant Governor is being misguided, as the arbitrary decisions on the part of administration go unabated,” said the senior officer, adding that the LG is being kept in dark over the exact condition of the health system in Jammu.
He stated that the appointment of Medical Officer as Medical Superintendent of GMC&H is in clear violation of service rules.
“As per Jammu and Kashmir Medical (Gazetted) Service Rules 1979, the post of Medical Superintendent requires post-graduation in Surgery/Gynecology or Medicine and other clinical subjects/Hospital Administration with at least 5 years experience as Dy. Medical Superintendent,” shared senior officer of H&ME Department, adding that similarly, for the post of Dy. Medical Superintendent three years experience is required of running a hospital after post-graduation.
It further added that if there is no eligible doctor having required qualification and experience for the above said post, in that case, there is a provision that any qualified can be called or appointed from outside the State or Union territory through laid down criteria as per rules.
He expressed ignorance about any change in Service Rules in view of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019.
However, Speaking to The Typewriter, Law Secretary Anchal Sethi, Jammu and Kashmir Medical Education (Gazetted) Service Rules 1979 are still applicable in the Union Territory despite the reorganization of Jammu and Kashmir.
A senior officer of the H&ME Department stated that in 2015, a writ petition titled Krishan Manhas v/s State & ors, challenged the appointment of incharge Deputy Medical Superintendent, wherein H&ME Department was accused of ‘tailoring’ the rules to accommodate the ‘blue eyed’ doctors.
The court had observed that the order of appointment of incharge Deputy Medical Superintendent has been passed in colourable exercise of power by the Government, which cannot be sustained in law and therefore it is quashed.
The court had also rapped the government, stating that more directions are required to be issued to the State of J&K, as the State has been found to be flouting the basic recruitment rules by not filling up the posts of Medical Superintendents/Dy. Medical Superintendents in accordance with J&K medical Education (Gazetted) Service Rules of 1979.
“The State Government shall take steps for filling up the posts of Medical Superintendent existing in Government Medical College and Hospital Jammu and its associated teaching hospitals by following the procedure envisaged by Rule 7 of 1979 Rules, in case there is no eligible person available in the cadre of Dy Medical Superintendents for being promoted to the post of Medical Superintendent substantively, it may seek the recommendation of the J&K Public Service Commission of a person to be posted as MS who otherwise must be eligible under rules and in the opinion of the commission possesses exceptional merit as well as professional experience of high order,” court observed.
If sources are to be believed Dr. ADS Manhas is not entitled for the post of Medical Superintendent at Government Medical College and Hospital Jammu. Despite knowing the fact, the Health and Medical Education Department has deliberately ignored the above-said services rules.
Sources alleged that a number of controversies took place during the past tenure of Dr. ADS Manhas with the then Health Minister Choudhary Lal Singh and even during his earlier posting in Control Room of the GMC Jammu, wherein the junior doctors had submitted a written complaint (copy within the possession of The Typewriter) against Dr Manhas of his ‘rude and dictatorial’ approach.
“It is surprising that a doctor, who has never managed any hospital with more than 250 beds, has been entrusted with the responsibility to manage 1100 bed hospital,” said sources, adding that there is a huge difference between the working of the district health centre and premier hospital.
When tried to contact Financial Commissioner, H&ME Department Atal Dulloo, he was not available for comments.