Srinagar: Health and Medical Education Department on Monday sought to defend delegation of powers of executive heads of the medical institutions to Administrators, Personal Officers (POs) and Administrative Officers of Government Medical Colleges and subordinate departments of the Administrative Department.
“The Government of Jammu & Kashmir, Health & Medical Education Department, Civil Secretariat, Srinagar/Jammu, wishes to bring the following to notice that the positions of Administrators, Personal Officers and Administrative Officers have existed in Medical Colleges for several years. As the name suggests, these posts have been created to assist the Principals of Medical Colleges and relieve them of day-to-day routine administrative matters,” the department said.
“The role and responsibilities of these officers needed clarity and definition to avoid confusion. It may be appreciated that accountability can be fixed only when responsibilities are clearly defined. This is the essence of a well-run institution.”
It said a medical college is essentially an academic institution and consists of the college and Associated Hospitals. The Principal of a medical college provides academic leadership and facilitates research. This role of the Principal shall be impacted if he has to deal with routine administrative matters like electricity, sanitation and cleanliness of hospital premises or personal matters of employees. It is, therefore, imperative to strengthen the role of the Principal as the academic head of the Institution to delegate relatively un-important tasks of a routine nature like training or seniority lists to other functionaries.
“This initiative shall therefore strengthen the position of the Principal and he shall be able to devote more time to Health Care, Academics and Research.”
He said delegation of authority does not mean that the executive authority of the Principal gets weakened. She remains the executive head of the Institution and all matters which presently require her approval as per rules shall continue to need her approval.”
The department said it may be noted that no matter of clinical or non-clinical nature or academic or research is being delegated. Medical professionals will continue to exercise all authorities in such matters on which they are experts. Administrative officers are not going to be examining patients or prescribing medicines or teach medical students. The apprehension of medical professional is, therefore, unfounded.
“Functions like Finance, HR, Utilities and Services are even at AllMS not under Medical Professionals but with the Deputy Director (Adm) and other officials.”
The extensive consultation has been made before finalizing the matter. The first meeting was held with the Principal GMC and Administrative officers on 29.12.2021 and then a draft was discussed on 21.01.2022 with all GMC Principals which was modified as per the suggestions received. All Principals appreciated the need for clear definition of roles and responsibility.
According to the draft proposal, the duties, responsibilities and functions of the Administrators, Personal Officers and Administrative Officers will be to look into matter of supervision of Non-Gazetted employees, personal matters of all employees (Gazetted/ Non Gazetted) viz. promotions, seniority lists, APRs, departmental enquiries/vigilance cases/in-situ promotions etc), public grievances and their redressal, timely reference of vacancies, ensuring updated seniority lists of employees, budget and planning matters, etc.
Further all matters training of Non-Gazetted employees, Estates Division of Medical College(s) particularly providing of accommodation to staff/ students, maintenance of Government accommodations, electrification, sanitation, cleanliness in and around hostel premises etc, monitoring of funds provided by the J&K NHM under various schemes and providing of utilization certificates thereof, monitoring of Hospital Development Funds on monthly basis and its utilization thereof, RTI Act/Rules, All Information Technology (IT) related issues and timely updation of official website(s), vigilance for the concerned Medical College(s)/departments, all the affairs of the students of the Medical College, sanitation & cleanliness and securities will be looked after by these bureaucrats.