LARKANA: Three medical colleges in the Larkana and Sukkur region of the Sindh province running under the Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Medical University (SMBBMU) are facing an acute shortage of teaching faculty due to which the professional studies of the enrolled students are being hindered. These institutions include the Chandka Medical College (CMC) and the Bibi Aseefa Dental College (BADC) in Larkana and the Ghulam Muhammad Mahar Medical College (GMMMC) in Sukkur.
No new appointments or promotions of teachers have so far been made during the past four years. The woes of the patients of the Chandka Medical College Hospital (CMCH) have also multiplied due to this problem.
Sources claim that there are 166 sanctioned posts of Assistant Professors, Associate Professors, and Professors available in CMC alone out of which 80 are filled and 86 are still vacant. In GMMMC, there are 64 posts out of which 43 are vacant, and 21 are filled.
The Pakistan Medical & Dental Council’s (PMDC) team is currently inspecting Larkana’s institutions and hospitals and is expected to take serious notice of this significant shortfall in the faculty along with other deficiencies.
Former Prime Minister, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, established the CMC in 1973. Despite the passage of 46 years, its teaching faculty has not yet been completed.
Three basic departments of the CMC are still running without proper heads in this scientific era. These include Anatomy, Forensic Medicine, and Community Medicine. The Basic and Clinical Departments have 36 posts out of which 17 professors are working. The remaining 19 seats are still lying vacant. Likewise, out of 43 posts of Associate Professors, 20 are filled, and 23 are vacant. Forty-three assistant professors are posted, and four posts are vacant out of 47 sanctioned posts. At present, there are no professors in the Departments of Chest Diseases, Cardiology, Radiology, Pediatric Surgery, Psychiatry, and Dermatology. Assistant Professors or Senior Lecturers have been serving as the authorities in charge. The quality of education and treatment can be assessed easily by looking at this situation.
A similar situation prevails in GMMMC where six professors are working out of 17 sanctioned posts, and a shortage of 11 is currently being faced. Currently, out of 64 posts, 21 are occupied, and 43 posts lie vacant.
Dr Ilyas Shaikh, Principal, BADC, who was an Assistant Professor and is currently posted in BPS-20 at the Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, has left the job and the charge has been handed over to Dr Shahid Mirani. The BADC continues to undergo a severe shortage of faculty. The CMCH is facing serious administrative issues as well, along with the lack of faculty.
The province needs leadership in this critical time. The students, poverty-stricken patients, and poor residents of Larkana have urged the provincial rulers to fill all the vacant posts immediately. Not only will this reduce unemployment, but it will also facilitate the people of the province.