That all is not well with the All India Institute of Medical Sciences is old hat.
But more disturbing information has come, revealing highly competent doctors are steadily leaving the prestigious institution, situated in the national capital of New Delhi. And that is because of poor salary levels.
AdvertisementSuccessful doctors do make a lot of money in the country and that is why seats in medical colleges command a huge premium. On the other hand, it is also known that the salaries of doctors attached to teaching hospitals in the public sector are not all that attractive.
Now Times of India reports that in the last five years alone more than 50 faculty members have left the AIIMS for greener pastures.
While insiders - both past and present - agree that a complex interplay of external and internal factors has led to the exodus, the salary structure at the country's top medical institute seems to be the biggest impediment in retention of skilled manpower.
It has been calculated that middle and senior level doctors at the AIIMS are paid only one-tenth to one-fifth of the money their counterparts in the private sector earn and one-twentieth to one-thirtieth of the salaries abroad.
Predictably, most people who left were at the middle level - which means that the institute lost out on the most productive years of some of the best medical brains in the country.
The gross monthly salary of a faculty member at the institute ranges from Rs 42,643 for an assistant professor to Rs 76,773 for a senior professor. The journey to becoming a senior professor can take some 30 years. In the interim, the annual increments range from a measly Rs 325 to Rs 500.