Ghazi Khan Medical College needs special package, incentives to attract experienced faculty

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 Ghazi Khan Medical College needs special package,
incentives to attract experienced faculty

Direct induction of faculty members and decision on pending cases of
promotion can resolve the human resource problems facing this institution

From our correspondent

DERA GHAZI KHAN: A quiet revolution is taking place in Dera Ghazi Khan the remotest and the most backward district in South Punjab.  The grip of the Feudal Sardar’s and the Tribal customs is loosening and the people of the area are destined to witness accelerated development and progress preserving the local culture as well. Thanks to the numerous developments schemes initiated, some of which have already been completed. The establishment of an undergraduate medical college i.e. Ghazi Khan Medical College here is no less than a miracle and it has not only provided opportunities of higher education to talented boys and girls from this backward area but it is also spearheading a cultural change.

A visit to the Ghazi Khan Medical College last month was a fascinating experience.  The college has a magnificent building spread over a huge area with spacious lawns. Prof. Shah Zaman Latif Professor of Biochemistry has recently taken over as the new Principal.  Talking to him and Prof. Tehsin, Prof. of Physiology at the college provided an opportunity to know about the progress this institution has made ever since its inception besides the problems which it faces. One batch has already graduated and the second batch is in Final Year. The college admits one hundred students and all on merit with no quota whatsoever. Since there are no frequent flights and Dera Ghazi Khan is also not located on the main road, accessibility is one of the most important issues which has hindered its development and progress. Tribal society and the Sardari system is gradually fading away and a social, cultural change is very much visible but it will still take a few more  years before this city and district can come up to the development level of other parts in the province.

Despite the fact that the present Government is taking special interest in developing this area,  schemes like Ghazi Khan Medical College still deserve special pay packages and incentives to attract the experienced faculty to overcome the acute shortage of human resource it faces. Dera Ghazi Khan is already declared as a backward district. At present numerous posts of Professors in different disciplines are vacant but most of the posts of Associate and Assistant Professors are filled and similar is the case as regards Demonstrators. The present faculty is taking keen interest in teaching and training. All the senior teachers take the classes which are attended by the junior faculty members as well regularly. This is evident from the fact that the college had 100% result after the First and Second Professional examination.

According to Prof. Tehsin, workshops on Research Methodology and Surgical Skills are organized regularly. Cultural values are also being preserved at the same time. Availability of good road network, provision of lot of funds by the provincial government for development enabled us to have an excellent college building, Grounds, Cafeteria and the College library is also well stocked. New Library building is also under construction. At present the college has a very good E library with over three thousand five hundred text books and numerous journals. We have well equipped lecture theaters. Medical Education department has been established here and teachers training programme has also been initiated.

The affiliated DHQ teaching Hospital is presently functioning in buildings most of which have now been declared dangerous and are going to be demolished soon. New hospital building is coming up fast. At present the hospital has a bed strength of three hundred but  the new hospital building under construction will add another 250-beds and this new facility is likely to be commissioned in July 2017 through the authorities are pressing for early completion.  Apart from Dera Ghazi Khan District, the hospital serves the patients from the adjoining districts of other three provinces as well i.e. Sindh, Baluchistan and Khyber PK. Patients coming from the other provinces account for 15-20% of the hospital’s workload. The hospital has 6-Bed ICU and four bed CCU. College of Physicians & Surgeons of Pakistan has recognized this hospital for FCPS Part-II training in Medicine, Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology besides ENT. University of Health Sciences Lahore team has also visited this institution and a number of departments are likely to be recognized for MD and MS as well. The department of Anesthesia is already recognized for DA and MS degrees.

Shortage of human resource particularly experienced faculty is one of the most important problems this institution is currently facing. The provincial government in general and the health department in particular needs to show some special concern to solve these problems.  Since the authorities are very much serious in developing this area, they should come up with special pay package, incentives to attract experienced talented faculty and also announce special allowance to the faculty already serving here.  Arrangements should be made to have direct induction to fill up the posts of professors rather than transferring teachers from other institutions. Those who will be forced to join here, will be unwilling workers hence one cannot expect the best from them. Instead directly inducted faculty who is offered special incentives will be more willing to serve with devotion and dedication. Similarly, all the pending cases of promotion needs to be decided as early as possible. It will also help fill up quite a few posts presently lying vacant. Once the new hospital building is commissioned, the old structure will be demolished and further construction will be taken up as per the Master Plan.  It is hoped that in the next four to five years, Dera Ghazi Khan will have one of the most modern state of the art healthcare facility offering tertiary care facilities to the patients and they won’t have to travel to Multan or other bigger cities. Availability of faculty will also ensure development and progress of private health sector in the area and some private hospitals may also be established here in the coming years.

People of the area have lived at the mercy of Sardar’s and Tribal Chiefs for too long who were least interested in the development work in this area but now things are changing which augers well for the country as well. Present Government efforts to develop Southern Punjab and its most backward areas is indeed commendable.