Twenty days after Health and Medical Education Minister Bali Bhagat floated the idea to establish an independent medical university in Jammu and Kashmir to cater to the growing demands of a large number of government and private medical colleges, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Monday attempted to hijack the idea in a bid to take credit for the visionary step.
Interestingly, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti chose her own social media page to announce the decision.
Instead of acknowledging the vision of her own cabinet colleague Bali Bhagat, Mehbooba credited the vision of her father and former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed behind the proposal.
In her tweet Mehbooba Mufti wrote, “In an effort to realise my father’s vision, we will start the process to setup the first medical university in J&K during the upcoming assembly session. The healthcare and education sectors are vital to our State’s development”.
When contacted Health and Medical Education Minister Bali Bhagat told STATE TIMES, ” I had first floated the idea to explore the possibility of establishing an independent medical university in the State during a high level meeting on November 28″.
Bhagat said a four-member committee, headed by Additional Secretary Health and Medical Education was constituted to suggest ways and means for setting up this “vital institution after detailed study of modalities and viability”.
On the other hand, the Chief Minister’s tweet this morning triggered a sharp debate on various other social media platforms including Whatsapp groups.
Commenting on the debate, a doctor, who is a member of a social media group, wrote,” It is nothing but a race to take credit. Now it is crystal clear why Health Department was deliberately being made the target because PDP could not digest the announcement of setting up of Medical University by Health Minister Bali Bhagat”.
“People know and understand the fact that it is only Bali Bhagat, who has the credit of announcing and setting up a committee to establish a Medical University in J&K”, another group member posted a comment.
Mehbooba Mufti had recently made a surprise visit to Government Medical College Hospital in Jammu and expressed her unhappiness over the poor sanitation and patient care facilities.
Referring to her visit to the Medical College to take stock of facilities, another group member wrote, “It was a publicity stunt by the Chief Minister and nothing much”. “There was no need for her to make a surprise visit to the GMC Hospital without even informing her cabinet colleague, who is incharge of the health ministry”.