I am For
But Have Reasons to Lack Confidence: Bishnu Medical College
The Member of Parliament Bishnu Pada Ray today clarified his stand on the proposed
and said that he never mentioned that the
should be closed down and open PG College. He also said that the MD of AIMS,
Dr. Prem Nair also did not say anything against the Medical College . Medical College
Bishnu was addressing the media over the controversy involving him. He expressed happiness about people’s participation in this critical issue, which he believes is a beginning and very good sign for any development.
“Politicians and Administration, if not criticized, they will not look back to correct themselves,” he opined.
Slamming the media reports, he said, “A wrong message has somehow been spread by my ill wishers that MP is against opening of MBBS College in Port Blair, which is absolutely an incorrect message. “I have never said that
should be closed down and open PG College nor Dr. Prem Nair had ever said.” MBBS College
He also cleared his name and said that there was no such proposal to favour Amrita Institute as is being spread.
“Everybody knows that no institution can be selected on nomination basis in the Govt. system and rules. I am an open book and there is no hidden agenda or any black spot so far,” Bishnu added.
However, Bishnu once again drew attention towards the merits of PG course over UG course.
“Looking at the complex requirement of the UG courses compared to PG courses, which is comparably lesser complex, I had a justified reason to advocate for PG course to start with,” he said.
He also listed steps taken by him to ensure availability of immediate specialists’ treatment at Port Blair
“I had written a letter on 29th Oct. 2013 to Hon’ble Lt. Governor to immediately start PG Courses in Medicine and Surgery with various Super Specialty Hospital Services like Cardiology – Heart Diseases, Gastroenterology- Gastric/ lever transplantation problems, Nephrology – Super Specialty in Kidney treatment, Oncology – Super Specialty in cancer treatment, Neurology – Super Specialty in brain, nerves, etc, Cardio-vascular and Thoracic Surgery, Neurosurgery, Gastrointestinal Surgery, Urology – Urine, Bladder,” he added.
He further said that he had requested the Administration in view of large number of such cases being detected for which there is no specialized treatment available at Port Blair. Starting of these courses will immediately bring in specialists who can render immediate treatment to Islanders in case of stroke, heart blockage, kidney failure, cancer, liver diseases, mother and child care, digestion issues, etc. abundant in
Islands. At the same
time the local students will get admission in those PG cases, who in turn can
serve the Islands.
He also gave the example of PGI Chandigarh which has established PG Courses on the same lines.
Bishnu said that the Lt. Governor acknowledging his letter had informed that he has recently taken a review of the complete health services and given necessary instructions to fill in the existing gaps. LG also replied that detailed proposals are being worked out by Principal Secretary (Health).
Bishnu, however, mentioned that though he had written to the Lieutenant Governor about the issue, nothing has so far been done on his suggestions.
Citing various deficiencies of the Administration, he said, “The Administration could not fill up 38 posts of Medical Specialists for the past 20 years, I had reasons to lack confidence, as the UG courses require as much as 244 faculties. The requirement of faculty for PG courses being only 30, and tapping the resources in PPP mode would be much easier compared to 244 faculties required for UG course.”
Taking a jibe on a recent interview given to the press by the Director of Health Services regarding tapping of faculty from the Defence, CHS and Private sectors, and the response the Administration got, Bishnu said, “I have gone through a CAG observation under the caption, “Critical Shortage of doctors in defence hospitals”, which says the defence hospitals had a deficiency of 298 specialist doctors in armed forces against the authorized strength of 2217.”
“When there is shortage in defence itself, how the Administration will get faculty support from defence?” he questioned.
Bishnu further mentioned some of the recent issues that compelled him to pro-actively intervene in the issue and to impress upon the need for a conscious decision.
He cited the examples of nine Medical Colleges in Maharashtra State which had to give up 500 out of total 2100 MBBS Seats due to lack of infrastructure and shortage of Faculty Members. Nearly 1000 staffers are vacant as reported by newspaper “Mumbai Mirror” on 21.08.2014.
He also mentioned about the minutes of the Executive Committee meeting of Medical Council of India dated 14.03.2014, which indicated shortage of infrastructure and faculties in a number of colleges that may lead to scaling down the seats or even suspension.
Citing a Press Information Bureau report dated 8.8.2014 regarding periodical assessment carried out by the Medical Council for grant of permission to admit students, he said that MCI has not recommended maximum number of cases due to shortcomings as mentioned in the report emerged from the reply to a Parliament question by Health Minister.
He also delved in depth about the financial implication and said that the infrastructure requirement for UG courses is massive worth Rs. 500 Crores approx. compared to minimum infrastructure required for PG course worth Rs. 40 Crores approx. Similarly, the recurring expenditure on operation of UG College is worked out to be Rs. 109 Crores and Rs. 38 Crores only for PG College.
He questioned the logic of shifting from PPP mode to Society run Medical College and explained that the High Court had passed an order in 2005 to start Medical College and a consultant M/s HSCC (I) Ltd. was appointed at a cost of Rs. 1.75 Crores, which in 2010 submitted its report recommending establishment of Medical College in PPP Mode.
Bishnu added, “The 12th Standing Committee on IDA discussed regarding establishment of
in PPP mode and was approved by the Prime Minister in the 13th Meeting of IDA
on 15.07.2011. The Union Health Minister had also conveyed approval for opening
the college in PPP mode on 26.02.2013.” MBBS College
He blamed the lower level officers for reversing the order and said, “The Proposal to open college in PPP mode was reversed by lower level officers on 6.8.2013 and took a decision by them to establish the college through a Govt. Society.”
He also highlighted certain failures on the part of Administration especially the inability to fill up 38 posts of specialists for the past many years, delay in filling up of regular 30 GDMO posts, delay in finalization of under-sea OFC cable project, cancellation of the sewerage treatment project, delay in finalization of the project for construction of bridges across creeks in ATR, poor maintenance of National Highway and ATR, delay in implementation of PMGSY roads, delay in execution of NRDWP projects and closure of Forest Plantation Development Corporation.
He categorically targeted ANIIDCO and said that without IMFL, the Corporation is a total failure. He also lauded Lakshadweep Development Corporation Limited and said that they are doing much better compared to ANIIDCO.
He also blamed the Administration for delay in creation of National Highway Circle and dedicated
Bishnu said that the growth rate of
Islands as reported in
the Planning Commission’s report is just 0.98%.
He drew attention towards the corpus fund of Rs 43 Crores lying with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and said that the Administration is unaware of the cess money lying unutilized.
Bishnu said that there has been significant delay in creation of 38 posts of ITI, 628 posts of Transport Department, 71 posts of higher education, 481 posts of Police Department, 20 posts of Shipping Department, 22 posts of Health Department, 73 posts of Official Language Wing, 140 posts of Disaster Management and 4 posts of Civil Aviation Department.
The Member of Parliament told the media that he had discussed the issue of
with the Administration at length and with some of premier institutions like
AIMS and finally gave many suggestions to the Administration. Medical College
He advised the Administration to immediately float an Expression of Interest (EOI) for engagement of faculties and assess the response and suggested that the investment on infrastructure may be restricted till such time adequacy of faculty is assessed, so as to avoid wasteful expenditure.
He also suggested simultaneously preparing a contingent plan for establishment of
, which does not
require much of infrastructure or faculty. In case the Administration did not
find required response for UG Course, the Administration will have the option
to begin with the PG course. Post Graduate
“The Administration may also invite reputed Medical Institutions for a preliminary discussion to explore viability of PPP mode as has been done by Odisha Government in Rayagada and Gajapati Districts,” he suggested.
He once again reiterated his view and said, “I am fully in favour of establishment of
. My only concern is that it
should not be a failure and Govt. money should not be wasted. The much desired
Super Specialty Health Care facility should reach the Islands at the earliest
and the people and students of the Medical College Island
should get 100% benefit of the project.”
Bishnu said that he along with the senior officers of the Administration will meet the Union Minister of Health Dr. Harshavardhan on 28th of this month to reach some conclusion on the issue.
Bishnu Pada Ray reminded the Islanders that he is an elected servant of the Islanders. “I think and battle only for development of the
and common cause,” he concluded.