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Brain drain price for AIIMS delay

Missed deadlines at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Patna, are threatening to take a toll on its pride roll of doctors.

Sources have revealed that three of the doctors have already moved to other hospitals, while several others are planning to follow suit.

Dr Gaurav Sharma, who joined as an assistant professor in the medicine department, and Dr Supriya Sharma, who joined as an associate professor in its surgery department, quit the premier hospital to join the same post at Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, in June. Dr R. Das, who joined the anatomy department as a professor, shifted to AIIMS-Bhubaneswar in February this year.

Confirming to The Telegraph that Dr Sharma left because of delay in the starting of the hospital, AIIMS-Patna director Dr G.K. Singh said: “Dr Sharma could have been useful for AIIMS-Patna. She is among very few doctors in the country to have carried out 15-20 liver transplant surgeries. AIIMS-Patna was planning to start a liver transplant unit with her assistance but the plan has been shelved now.”

Sources said the brain drain from AIIMS-Patna would continue with Dr Prem Kumar, head of the radiology department, and Dr Bindey Kumar, head of the paediatric surgery department, taking no-objection certificates for applying to other health hubs. They added that the duo have applied for the director’s post at Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Patna.

“The fact that doctors after joining AIIMS-Patna are now heading or considering to head for other hospitals is really worrisome. The delay in the start of the hospital is the main reason behind the departure of most of the doctors. As far as I know, Dr Supriya Sharma was not very happy because of this delay. Any doctor, especially if he/she is associated with surgery, would be frustrated if he/she does not conduct a surgery for a long time. Surgery is all about practice and a doctor would surely get nervous about his/her skills if he/she stops conducting surgery for months,” said an AIIMS doctor.

On Dr R. Das’s departure, a source said: “The primary reasons for his departure were homesickness, delay in construction of the anatomy laboratory and development of other infrastructure.”

Sources said Dr Vijay Sheel Gautam, head of the surgery department, and Dr Subhash Kumar, an interventional radiologist, are also looking for better options because of the delay in the start of the hospital.