Govt will fully support institution monetarily, strengthen faculty: Advisor Sharma
Don’t want to interfere in admin, professional work: Advisor Khan
Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Srinagar Thursday observed its 37th annual day with its Director Dr A G Ahangar saying that the institute was a brand name in India.
The annual day of SKIMS also marks the birth anniversary of its founder and former Prime Minister Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah.
Lieutenant Governor, Girish Chandra Murmu was scheduled to preside over the function but could not make it.
However, he conveyed his message through one of his advisors.
The two advisors to the Lieutenant Governor, K K Sharma and Farooq Khan were guests of honour at the function held at Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) here.
Sharma read out the message conveyed by Murmu.
“SKIMS is a premiere healthcare institution, which has been rendering tertiary healthcare services to people for almost four decades now and imparting medical education of higher order,” he read Lt Governor’s message.
“Your success is the outcome of your hard work. I have been apprised about the details of future expansion programmes. It is a moment of pride that the research of SKIMS is finding its place in the national and international journals,” Lt Governor said in the message.
In his message, Murmu said the government would take all necessary steps required for upgradation of SKIMS infrastructure and optimum utilization of the resources for achieving its goals.
Speaking on the occasion, Sharma said SKIMS was an excellent institute and a gift for Jammu Kashmir saying people from many areas got benefit from it.
He said the institution was a “blessed initiative” by Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah.
“The founder of SKIMS who gave this idea and blessed this initiative was none other than late Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah who has been our tallest leader,” Sharma said. “Today is his birth anniversary and I would like to convey greetings to all and also pray for his soul. It is very nice that SKIMS marks its annual day on his birthday.”
Sharma said the governing body model had been a successful model of functioning in the health institution at many places across India.
“This methodology has been adopted by AIIMS and PGI, Chandigarh. In SKIMS, the decisions are quick and the director, who is the chief executive of the institution, can take the institution forward with excellence,” he said.
Sharma said the founding director SKIMS, Dr A K Nagpal was chosen by Sheikh Abdullah.
“His growth shows that when given an opportunity backed with financial and administrative support, excellence can be produced,” he said.
The advisor said the government would fully support the institution monetarily and strengthen the faculty.
“We have taken a number of initiatives just before the Darbar files came to me as a Finance Advisor. I am delighted that 400 and 500 posts have been sanctioned which were pending for many years,” he said.
On the occasion, Advisor Farooq Khan said SKIMS had given pride to people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh saying he speaks proudly about it outside the Valley.
“It is an institution of great repute and people working there are keeping its flag high and I salute them for that,” he said.
Appreciating the role of doctors, Khan said professionals at the premiere institute have been there in turbulent time and they performed their job amid odds.
“They continue to perform their duties. SKIMS came up after facing difficulties. I will try to do my best. We are giving full support to it. We don’t want to interfere in administration and professional work,” he said.
On the occasion, Director SKIMS and ex-officio secretary to the Government Dr A G Ahangar said the institute was equivalent to AIIMS and PGI Chandigarh for the people of Jammu Kashmir.
“It is the faculty members and the allied workforce who made the institute what it is today. SKIMS is a brand name in India. It is a household name. People across the world see toward this institution as last hope for the people,” he said. “The institute has grown to the level that everyone wants to come here for minor or major ailment.”
Ahangar said approximately 12 lakh patients were visiting the institute annually of which 60,000 people get admitted.
“Around 30,000 people are operated for major or minor surgeries in a year and 12 to 15 lakh investigations are held yearly,” he said.
The Director said SKIMS was not only a tertiary care institution but a deemed university.
“It has been imparting undergraduate, postgraduate, postdoctoral programmes and diploma courses for doctors, nurses and paramedics,” he said.
He said SKIMS Medical College, Bemina had expanded at a tremendous pace.
“Our research projects are published in national and international journals, which have given the institute a global name. Our quality of research is unparallel,” he said.
Ahangar said they would try to work for a cashless scheme for the patients in Jammu Kashmir.
“To get medical education under one umbrella of a medical university, to regulate medical education, and to put in place a curriculum to give best to people, we need to have administrative and financial autonomy. There are a lot of expectations from the people and we have to meet them,” he said.
Dean of Medical Faculty, Prof Omar Javid Shah said the institute had been offering services ever since its inception almost four decades ago.
“Commitment to patient care has not only been sustained all these years but has become more firm and steadfast with the passage of time,” he said.
Shah said SKIMS had the distinction to produce 200 super-specialists, 1500 postgraduates, 1200 undergraduate doctors besides around 700 undergraduate and postgraduate nursing students.
“Year 2019 witnessed the landmark development as the institute started various sub-specialist courses which would help us recruit faculty members in the long run,” he said.
Shah said 1983 was a watershed year in the medical history of Kashmir as SKIMS was born not only as a quaternary centre but as a “deemed university” as well.
“This status bestowed on the institute brought with it responsibilities with utmost passion and sincerity by developing and maintaining excellence in the quality of our academic standards and research,” he said.
Principal SKIMS Medical College Bemina Dr Reyaz Ahmad Untoo highlighted the academic and research activities of SKIMS.
The function was attended by faculty members of all the medical colleges, former Directors and Deans of SKIMS and other senior government officials.