Black armband silent protest on Doctor’s Day by UCMS doctors

As India celebrated Doctors Day on July 1, doctors at the University College of Medical Sciences (UCMS) here sat quite gloomy while trying to find out reasons to celebrate.
“This observance is a way to show the society how important doctors are in our lives but has everybody thought how, even, we are denied our basic rights by the autocratic Delhi University administration,” said Dr Satendra Singh, assistant professor of physiology at the UCMS.
According to Dr Singh, the UCMS doctors are under the University of Delhi and henceforth the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), while other sister medical institutions like Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC), Lady Hardinge Medical College (LHMC) and even all other state run medical colleges are under the Centre or State run Ministries of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW). There the faculty can concentrate on quality of medical teaching and patient care as the promotions and pay scales of teaching medical faculty are determined by the Dynamic Assured Career Progression [DACP] scheme as laid down by the 6th Central Pay Commission Report, i.e. time bound promotions.
“The terms and conditions of DACP were brought into enforcement vide notification to UGC gazetted on 18th September 2010. The notification categorically directed UGC under clause no 1.1.1 that all medical faculties appointed medical teachers in Central Universities shall be governed by the norms of MOHFW i.e. time bound promotions. This was to be made effective for medical teachers of UCMS, AMU (Aligarh Muslim University) and BHU (Banaras Hindu University) from 31st December 2008. However, the dictatorial administrations of DU have not taken any heed to this constitutional right of medical teachers of UCMS,” he said.
Dr Singh further said, “Being under DU, no pay protection is given to doctors who have to join at salaries lower than what they were given under the residency scheme of MOHFW. Unlike medical colleges under MOHFW which safeguard the financial and promotional interests of medical faculty, DU equates medical faculty to any other faculty in colleges under DU.”
“The VC of BHU provided pay protection to medical faculty in BHU, but the VC of DU even denied that. Faculty members having completed even upto eight years of service are given salaries less than resident doctors. This has made UCMS one medical college with the highest faculty attrition rate. In the last three months, 17 permanent faculty members have left UCMS and joined as assistant professor by sacrificing their current experience on which they should have been either associate professor or professor. In the past three years, almost 25 faculty members have left for Centre or State run MOHFW medical institutes like MAMC, LHMC, new AIIMS, state medical colleges and even private practice,” said Dr Singh.
“The university system focuses purely on research for promotion of their faculty, while as medical teachers, faculty at UCMS and all medical colleges should be focussing on teaching medical students and patient care. Lack of transparency in the promotions in DU has made it one of the worst career options for medical faculty, who quit UCMS for greener pastures which offer them time bound promotions and better salaries. Every doctor is under the Hippocrates Oath, swearing for patient care and teaching his peers and juniors. But we are humans too and not demigods. Denial or delay of our constitutional rights has forced many to seek judicial help and tangent us away from the oath,” he added.

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