MUMBAI: Number of posts lying vacant across the medical education department in Maharashtra has reached a record 15,044 – almost 42% of the sanctioned workforce ranging from bureaucracy to doctors and nurses in colleges. Experts say that the high number of open positions has plunged the health services into a crisis, evident through frequent spikes in fatalities within medical colleges.
Numbers accessed by TOI show that more than a third of 1,991 Class I positions are vacant. Vacancies in teaching are the highest: 40% of 3,927 posts. Of 25 dean posts in as many state-run medical colleges, 11 are vacant. The Nanded college-hospital, where 24 deaths occurred in a 24-hour span leading to a national outcry, does not have a full-time dean. As for Class I and II nursing positions, there are 100% and 78% vacancies respectively.


With government colleges serving over one crore patients in outpatient departments per year, accommodating 10 lakh admissions, and performing two lakh major surgeries, the severe staff shortage has led to burnout among staff and compromised quality of care, say doctors. Among 621 professor positions, 37% are vacant stands. Most alarming vacancies are at the entry level, with 44% of 2,044 lecturer positions unfilled. The shortage has escalated in nine years with the establishment of new colleges.
“While nearly 1,400 new MBBS seats have been added across colleges in Chandrapur, Gondia, Alibaug, Nandurbar, Satara, Ratnagiri, and Parbhani, faculty posts created did not exceed 500-600,” said an official. Instead of fresh recruitment, the state has resorted to relocating teachers from old institutions.