Empowering administrators Decision will strengthen role of principals in hospitals: Govt

Wajahat Shabir. Updated: 1/25/2022 11:41:43 AM Front Page

SRINAGAR: Responding over the row that erupted over a draft proposal, the Health and Medical Education Department on Monday said that the delegation of authority to officers of Union Territory administration deputed in Government Medical Colleges (GMCs) & Associated Hospitals does not mean that the executive authority of the Principals gets weakened.
The department responded to a draft proposal last week which highlights,"responsibilities and functions of the Administrators, Personal Officers and Administrative Officers of GMC and Subordinate Departments of Health and Medical Education Department".
The draft was proposed following a meeting which was held last week between Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Health and Medical Education (H&ME), Vivek Bhardwaj and Principals of GMC Jammu, Srinagar, Kathua, Rajouri, Doda, Anantnag, Baramulla and Special Secretary (M) to the Government H&ME and Administrators of GMC Srinagar and Jammu.
Following the meeting, the H&ME had notified responsibilities and functions of the Administrators, Personal Officers and Administrative Officers of GMCs and Subordinate Departments of Health and Medical Education Department, which created a fresh row.
Meanwhile, clearing the air regarding the proposal, the Government of J&K, Health & Medical Education Department has issued a statement.
In a statement, the H&ME said, “The positions of Administrators, Personal Officers and Administrative Officers have existed in GMCs for several years. As the name suggests, these posts have been created to assist the Principals and relieve them from day-to-day routine administrative matters”.
“The role and responsibilities of these officers needed clarity and definition to avoid confusion. It may be appreciated that accountability can be fixed only when responsibilities are clearly defined. This is the essence of a well-run institution”, it added.
A medical college is essentially an academic institution and consists of the college and Associated Hospitals. The Principal of a medical college provides academic leadership and facilitates research, it added.
“This role of the Principal shall be impacted if he has to deal with routine administrative matters like electricity, sanitation and cleanliness of hospital premises or personal matters of employees. It is, therefore, imperative to strengthen the role of the Principal as the academic head of the Institution to delegate relatively unimportant tasks of routine nature like training or seniority lists to other functionaries”, it added.
This initiative shall therefore strengthen the position of the Principal and he shall be able to devote more time to Health Care, Academics and Research, it reads.
Delegation of authority does not mean that the executive authority of the Principal gets weakened. Principal remains the executive head of the Institution and all matters which presently require her approval as per rules shall continue to need her approval, the statement reads.
It may be noted that no matter of clinical or non-clinical nature or academic or research is being delegated. Medical professionals will continue to exercise all authorities in such matters on which they are experts. Administrative officers are not going to be examining patients or prescribing medicines or teaching medical students. The apprehension of a medical professional is, therefore, unfounded, it added.
“Functions like Finance, HR, Utilities and Services are even at AIIMS not under Medical Professionals but with the Deputy Director (Adm) and other officials. Extensive consultation has been made before finalizing the matter. The first meeting was held with the Principal GMC and Administrative officers on 29.12.2021 and then a draft was discussed on 21.01.2022 with all GMC Principals which was modified as per the suggestions received. All Principals appreciated the need for a clear definition of roles and responsibility”, it reads.

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