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IGIMS director plea to save docs

Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS) director N.R. Biswas met health minister Ramdhani Singh on Wednesday evening requesting him to reconsider the decision of termination of five doctors.

The doctors were found indulging in private practice by a team constituted by the health department in March.

Incidentally, the body of governance of the IGIMS decided to dismiss the doctors in its meeting on Monday. The meeting was chaired by both Ramdhani and Biswas, who are chairperson and secretary of the governing body, respectively.

Doctors at the IGIMSÂ are entitled to non-practising allowance on the lines of their counterparts of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). The doctors get anything between Rs 25,000 and Rs 35,000 for doing away with private practice in addition to their salary, which varies from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1.40 lakh depending upon their seniority.

Confirming his meeting with Ramdhani, Biswas said: “The termination of the doctors would be a very harsh step against them. We have realised this. We (hospital administration) decided to ask the health minister to reconsider the decision. However, disciplinary action would be initiated against the erring doctors but the quantum of punishment is yet to be decided.”

Well-placed sources said Ramdhani told Biswas that he might give a “second thought” to the decision, as well.

The Faculty Members’ Association members have also started pressuring Ramdhani to reconsider the decision. The members met Ramdhani on Tuesday morning. They told Ramdhani that the health department had failed to come up with proper evidence regarding their claim of the five particular doctors indulging into private practice.

S.K. Shahi, medical superintendent, IGIMS, said he was not aware that Biswas met Ramdhani but he said whatever the director had done was right. “ There should be proper inquiry before any harsh action is taken against any doctor. In this case also, proper inquiry was not done by the health department,” he said.

Ophthalmologist Sunil Kumar Singh, who is also a member of the IGIMS governing body, said: “The proceedings of the governing body meeting have not come out. Where is the question of reconsideration?”