Vacant posts put KEMU status at stake
Lahore, Nov 25: The King Edward Medical University's (KEMU) recognition status is at stake as up to 44 posts of senior medical faculty are lying vacant in basic sciences as well as clinical departments.
Senior medical teachers are of the view that Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) may withdraw the recognition status of the KEMU for up to 44 seats of senior medical teachers including five posts of professors, 24 posts of associate professors and 15 posts of assistant professors, were lying vacant for the last several years, badly affecting the quality of medical education and healthcare services in the premier medical and health institution of the country.
However, the official sources, on the condition of anonymity, said that the varsity administration had recently advertised 18 posts including four seats of professors, six seats of associate professors and eight seats of assistant professors to be filled on contract basis, which they dubbed as a breach of Punjab government's policy of making appointments on regular basis.
They said the vacant post the KEMU was going to fill belonged to the King Edward Medical College (KEMC), and fell under purview of the Punjab Health Department. Therefore, they could be filled on contract basis. The doctors of KEMU are of the opinion the posts of medical teachers should be placed in a general pool of the Health Department, which should be filled on regular basis through promotions of doctors from other medical institutions across the province.
The KEMU has also failed to develop its own faculty since up-gradation from college to university level. Under the KEMU Act 2005, Section 4(j) the university shall ëcreate posts of professors, associate professors, assistant professors, and demonstrators and other posts for research, publication, extension, administration and other related purposes and appoint persons theretoí. The officials say that the KEMU had, so far, been able to create some administrative posts like Registrar, Controller of Examinations, etc., and seven new posts in Department of Anesthesia (one professor, two associate professors and four assistant professors), a few posts in Urology, etc., with the approval of Syndicate.
Section 20(2) states, ìThe existing government employees of the King Edward Medical College, Lahore, shall be deemed to be the employees of the university unless they opt for their retention in the government...,". It is worth mentioning here that all the employees of the institution including the incumbent vice-chancellor had en bloc opted to stay in the provincial government service. However, the incumbent pro vice-chancellor, who initially opted to serve as an employee of the university, had also returned to the provincial government's service.
Ever since the employees opted for their retention in the government, the KEMU's failure in faculty development task has taken its toll on the quality of undergraduate and postgraduate medical education in the university.
Meanwhile, according to vacancy position of teaching cadre posts in KEMU, a total of five seats of professors, including four posts in the departments of Biochemistry, Pharmacology, Radiology and Nephrology at Mayo Hospital and a seat of professor of Anesthesia, created by the Syndicate, for attached Lady Wellington Hospital and Lady Aitchison Hospital, are lying vacant.
Besides, a total of 24 seats of associate professors, including five seats in Department of Anesthesia, three seats in Mayo Hospital and one seat each in Lady Wellington Hospital and Lady Aitcheson Hospital, two seats each in Department of Gynecology (Unit-III of Lady Wellington Hospital and Lady Aitchison Hospital) and Department of Pharmacology, and one seat each in the departments of Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry, Forensic Medicine, Preventive Pediatrics, Cardiology, Nephrology, Psychiatry, Ophthalmology (Unit-I), ENT (Unit-II), Neurosurgery, Plastic Surgery, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Orthopedic Surgery (Unit-I) and Radiotherapy (Oncology), are lying vacant.
Similarly, a total of 15 seats of assistant professors, including two seats each in the departments of Anatomy, Community Medicine and Anesthesia - one seat of Anesthesia each in Mayo Hospital and in one of the two other attached hospitals - and one seat each in the departments of Physiology, Biochemistry, Pathology, Psychiatry, Radiology, Plastic Surgery, ENT (Unit-I), Pediatrics (Paeds Radiology) and TB & Chest Medicine (Chest Radiology), are lying vacant.
Besides, it is learnt that several posts of demonstrators are also lying vacant, whereas, medical officers, serving on current charge basis, are awaiting their promotions.
Highlighting the gravity of the situation in Department of Anesthesia, which is a critical intervention in all kinds of surgeries in over 25 clinical departments of the three attached hospitals of KEMU, the doctors informed that Prof Syed Millat Hussain recently got retirement. Prof Dr Khawar Ali had been transferred and posted in Shaikh Zayed Hospital, Rahim Yar Khan, though he had yet to relinquish the charge. However, Prof Asghar Ali Randhawa from Punjab Medical College, Faisalabad, has been appointed on the post of Professor of Anesthesia.
With the departure of Prof Dr Khawar Ali, there would be only one Professor of Anesthesia out of two sanctioned posts in Mayo Hospital, while another sanctioned post of Professor of Anesthesia for attached Lady Wellington Hospital and Lady Aitchison Hospital is also vacant.
Furthermore, five out of the total six sanctioned posts of associate professors in Department of Anesthesia, three out of four sanctioned posts in Mayo Hospital and two posts (one each) in Lady Wellington Hospital and Lady Aitchison Hospital, are vacant.
Sources said that only assistant professors, no associate professor, had applied for the advertised posts of associate professors. Similarly, two out of eight sanctioned posts of assistant professors of Anesthesia, one out of four seats of Anesthesia in Mayo Hospital and one out of four in the two other attached hospitals, were also lying vacant. Three seats of assistant professors in Lady Wellington Hospital and Lady Aitchison Hospital have been filled recently. The surgeons have complained that the extreme shortage of Anesthetists had been severely affecting the surgeries of a large number of patients in all three attached hospitals.
The doctors further informed that there was severe shortage of medical teachers i.e. professors, associate professors and assistant professors in basic sciences departments like Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry, etc, the subjects which are studies by all students of MBBS, BDS and Physiotherapy.
In basic sciences subjects, according to PMDC rules, there should be one demonstrator for 25 students, an assistant professor for 50 students, and an associate professor for 100 students and two professors for 201 to 300 students. Under these rules, the strength of medical teachers in basic sciences is not sufficient in comparison with the enrolment of students i.e. 280 in MBBS Part-I, 280 in MBBS Part-II, 90 in BDS and 45 in Physiotherapy - therefore unable to meet the PMDC rules.
They said the qualified teachers were not willing to join KEMU, especially on contract posts, unlike when a number of candidates applying and looking for recommendations to secure the vacant slots.
On the other hand, they said, senior professors were leaving from the university to join other public and private sector institutions. KEMU Vice Chancellor Prof Zafarullah Khan was not ready to give his version despite university's spokesman conveyed the message in this regard.
However, KEMU spokesman Dr Tabassum claimed that, presently, only 23 posts of senior medical teachers were vacant in the university out of which 18 posts had already been advertised and scrutiny of applications was being done. It was not possible to take away the recognition status back as vacancies keep on emerging due to frequent transfers and postings, he added.
When asked about a total of 44 vacant positions, he said that senior registrars and assistant professors, recently regularized by the Punjab government, had filled the vacant posts, though doctors contended that promotions, not regularization, could only fill the vacant posts.
When asked about KEMU's policy of appointments on contract basis as opposed to government's policy of regular appointments on Health Department's posts, he said that the Health Department had authorized university to either conduct appointments itself or get them done through the department. "The university is indirectly conducting these appointments through the Punjab Public Service Commission by having its one member in the selection board," he said, adding that the university would make appointments on a five-year contract to be regularized after two years by following the example of one-year probation period in PPSC appointments.
When asked about the university's failure in faculty development, he said that the university's hands were tied until the completion of Surgical Tower because the minimum requirement for new posts, according to PMDC's requirements, was 35-40 beds in a given department. However, he said that the Syndicate had created seven posts in Anesthesia and two posts in Urology as well as establishment of two separate units of Skin Department.
Health secretary Anwaar Ahmad Khan said that KEMU was not authorized to conduct appointments on government's posts on contract basis. ìThey can't make appointments on contract basis," he asserted when informed that PPSC was recruiting doctors on regular basis. However, he said that KEMU must have been doing appointments on its own posts. When asked if KEMU had created its own posts, he said, they did not have funds to develop their faculty. The news
GCU students dissatisfied with security on campus
Lahore: The Government College University has been unable to replace its metal fence wall with a concrete one, despite strict instructions by the government to do so.
The university's metal wall poses serious threats as it gives a clear view of the inside of the campus. GCU security officer Dr MK Ashraf said they had not received instructions from the authority to replace the fence wall with a concrete one. Meanwhile, Superintendent of Police (Security) Imran Arshad said they were checking security at schools and would check universities later.
After last month's suicide blasts at the International Islamic University Islamabad, the Punjab government had suggested several security arrangements to educational institutions.
Last month, institutions across the province had been closed for a week and police and Special Branch personnel visited the institutions to ensure their security. The government in collaboration with police formulated a special security plan, which was forwarded to educational institutions across the city. The institutions were required to have an eight-feet-high concrete wall with a two-feet fence, CCTV cameras, armed security guards, barriers, two security guards at main entrances, check students with metal detectors and also check the identity cards of students, security guards, drivers, conductors, and peons.
After the institutions reopened, students at the GCU still feared for their safety, as a concrete wall had not been constructed and urged the university administration to follow the government's directions.
A student, Adil Malik, said they usually gathered at the Oval Ground of the university after classes but now felt threatened due to the fence wall. Another student, Hifza, said they were not safe because of a clear view of the inside of the campus from the road. She said other institutions had constructed high walls around their campuses, and the GCU should do so as well.
The GCU security officer said the university had taken several measures to ensure the students' security and was satisfied of them, adding the university's walls were above eight feet. District Coordination Officer Sajjad Bhutta said the main concern was not allowing outsiders to enter the premises of the institution regardless of a fence or a concrete wall. Daily times
Prize distribution ceremony
Lahore: Punjab Chief Minister, Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that national resources were mercilessly looted under the supervision of the former rulers and problems being currently faced by the masses including unemployment, poverty and ignorance are the result such acts.
The Chief Minister was addressing prize distribution ceremony of the position-holder students of intermediate examination of the whole province at Chief Minister Secretariat, here Sunday.
He said that those who got heavy loans written off with the connivance of a dictator and misappropriated billions of rupees from Punjab Bank through appointment of its head of their own choice despite opposition of State Bank are responsible for the present sorry state of affairs in the country.
He said those who got loans of billions of rupees written off are enjoying a luxurious life but he is confident that they will have to pay for their misdeeds. He said that time has come for returning the looted wealth to the people.
The Chief Minister further said "It is a fact that the aim of progress and prosperity can not be achieved without elimination of poverty and ignorance, therefore, the government is attaching top priority to the uplift of education sector and revolutionary measures are being taken for this purpose".
Punjab Educational Endowment Fund has been set up with billions of rupees in the province and scholarships are being awarded to talented students facing financial problems of all the four provinces, he said.
The Chief Minister congratulated students winning top positions in intermediate examination and paid tributes to their parents who despite limited resources had supported their children.
He also lauded the performance of a position holder student Laiba Mukhtar who is a Thelasemia patient and said that she had proved that nothing is impossible provided one is determined and committed enough.
He said that 50 position holder students of various examination this year would be sent on a study tour of educational institutions abroad and two students each from other provinces would also be included in this programme. He further announced to bear all expenses on the medical treatment of the student suffering from Thelasemia.
The Chief Minister gave cash prizes of Rs. 400,000, Rs. 300,000 and Rs. 200,000 to students winning first, second and third positions in the intermediate examination respectively and a cash prize of Rs. 200,000, Rs. 150,000 and Rs. 100,000 to the heads of their educational institutions. He also announced similar cash prizes for the position holder students of Balochistan who are currently on a visit to Punjab. He also gave commendatory certificates to position holders.
The Chief Minister further said that on one hand NRO weakened the foundations of the country while on the other hand terrorism, price hike and corruption had posed serious problems.
Democracy is not the name of NRO, writing off bank loans and usurping of people' rights but it is aimed at service of the people and utilization of national resources for the benefit of the masses, he said.
He said that it is unfortunate that despite being a talented nation and having natural resources we are still begging from others and are obeying their orders only for a meager amount which does not behove a living nation. There is a need for living within our own means instead of looking toward others, he added.
The Chief Minister further said that the prosperity of the country depends upon prosperity of the provinces. He said that misunderstandings between the provinces will have to be removed and equitable distribution of resources will have to be ensured.
He said that Balochistan rendered a number of sacrifices for the creation of Pakistan and it is the need of the hour that grievances of the people of Balochistan should be redressed and their rights should be upheld.
He said that on behalf of Quaid Pakistan Muslim League-N Mian Nawaz Sharif, "I assure Baloch brethren that their due rights will be protected and PML-N will fight for their cause". He said that a cardiology center is being established in Quetta at a cost of Rs. 2 billion and the foundation-stone of the project has been laid. He said that the quota of students of Balochistan in the institutions of professional education in Punjab has been increased and Punjab government will provide free educational facilities to Baloch students who have a certificate from Balochistan government that they cannot bear educational expenses.
Senior Advisor Sardar Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa, Provincial Minister for Education Mujtab Shuja ur Rehman, Provincial Minister for Jails Abdul Ghaffoor, Member National Assembly Saira Afzal Tarar, Chairman Taskforce Raja Muhammad Anwar besides members of the National and Provincial assemblies, heads of educational institutions, teachers, parents, columnists and intellectuals were also present on the occasion. APP
Lecture on copyright
Lahore: Urdu Science Board (USB) on Tuesday organised a special lecture to create awareness among creative writers, artists, publishers and booksellers about importance of copyright.
Deputy Registrar/In charge of the Intellectual Property Organisation (IPO) Imtiaz Ali delivered the lecture and advised the writers and publishers to register their literary, artistic and creative work with the IPO.
USB Director General Iqbal Nabi Nadeem said Pakistan was the member of World Copy Treaty, adding under this treaty the signatory countries were responsible for the protection of copyrights of each other. The news
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