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SKIMS Director may get extension, LG, CS to take call

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Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Government is yet to arrive at a decision on the continuation of Dr. A G Ahangar as Director SKIMS whose five-year term ends on June 25, 2021.

Dr. Ahangar was appointed as Director SKIMS in June 2016 but was placed under suspension in January 2018 after three doctors were found practicing at the clinics. Months later he was reinstated as Director SKIMS.

 

Now there is uncertainty if Dr. Ahangar is given the extension after his five-year term ends on June 25.

A senior official at the Chief Secretary’s office said the government was yet to arrive on any decision if he is given the extension.

“Appointing new permanent Director will take at least two months as the government has to frame a committee to conduct the selection process. So the government is considering either to give Dr. Ahangar an extension for a few months amid the COVID crisis or a senior faculty member will be appointed as interim Director SKIMS,” the official told The Kashmir Monitor.

“Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and Chief Secretary A K Mehta are expected to take the final decision within two weeks. The Lieutenant Governor is closely monitoring all developments taking place at SKIMS as it is Kashmir’s tertiary health care institute and a lot of health care is dependent on this hospital,” the official said.

A source at SKIMS Soura said there are some senior faculty members who are eying on the Director’s post. “They want an advertisement to be issued at the earliest for inviting the Director’s post so they could apply. But the framing committee for appointment of new Director would take some time due to the prevailing situation of the COVID,” the source said.

In January 2018 when Dr. Ahangar was removed, the then government headed by Mehbooba Mufti appointed Dr. Omar Javed Shah as interim Director SKIMS.

The SKIMS is in the news these days after a group of senior doctors recently wrote a letter to the Chief Secretary for inviting applications for the post of Director SKIMS.

“We were expecting an advertisement notification for the selection of the post since the completion of the tenure of the incumbent is approaching. In case no selection process is held well in time, many of us will get deprived of an opportunity to participate in the process and elevation to the post which will adversely affect the smooth functioning of our departments and patient care in particular,” the letter reads.

While another group of senior doctors have also written a letter to the government asking for continuation of Dr. Ahangar as Director SKIMS till the pandemic is over.

“We wholeheartedly welcome continuation of present Director SKIMS at the SKIMS as he has a marvelous contribution towards the patient care more particularly when the death rate due to the ongoing pandemic is lowest as compared to Jammu region,” it reads.

 “We feel that the credit goes to COVID warriors among whom a prominent figure is Prof. A.G. Ahangar who has remained instrumental in COVID mitigation efforts and has remained stationed at the headquarters during these testing times. We salute his contribution which needs to be recognized by one and all,” it adds