AIIMS face staff crunch, exodus of doctors add to woes

Country's premier institute All India Institute of Medical Sciences is facing staff crunch as only 400 doctors are functioning in the hospital against the sanctioned strength of 625 doctors.

The hospital caters to 8,000 patients on a daily basis. Adding to the woes of the premier hospital, there have been instances where doctors have quit in the past couple of years for better pay and work opportunities in private hospitals in India and abroad.

In the past ten months, eight doctors including three department heads have quit.

"I quit as my potential at AIIMS was not being properly exploited. I was given the robotic equipment (for surgery) only once a week as other departments needed it. As a result of which I just did 68 surgeries in four years. Here I have done 11 cases in 30 days," Dr Arvind Kumar, who is now a surgeon with Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, said.

Among others who quit include Dr H.H. Dash (Head of neuro-anaesthesia), Dr Supriyo Ghosh (Head of department of ophthalmology), Dr Rani A Sundar (assistant professor, anaesthesiology), Dr John Ranjan Behara (assistant professor, orthopaedics), Dr Vinay Gulati (Department of medicine and Dr C.Venkata Kartikeyan (ENT Department) and Dr Manish Sharma (assistant professor, neurosurgery).

Dr H.H. Dash, presently the head of neuro-anaesthesia and hostel superintendent at AIIMS, has also put in his papers.

"I have served the hospital for over 30 years. I have nothing against the institute. I have taken a VRS and by resigning I am giving opportunity to others," he said.

"Dr Supriyo Ghosh quit recently. He wasn't able to run the department very well due to his poor health. Especially after he suffered a stroke a few years ago. He was also having some difference with the administration. He took a VRS," a doctor with the hospital said.

Dr Rani A Sundar (assistant professor, anaesthesiology), Dr John Ranjan Behara (assistant professor, orthopaedics) and Manish Sharma (assistant professor, neurosurgery) resigned in protest earlier this year after they were termed unfit for promotion by the AIIMS selection committee. Two associate professor level doctors - Dr Vinay Gulati from the Department of medicine and Dr C.Venkata Kartikeyan from ENT Department, who were on foreign fellowships, also resigned soon after returning last year.

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