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IMA secretary resigns over discount snub

Ophthalmologist and secretary of the Ranchi chapter of Indian Medical Association (IMA) B.P. Kashyap resigned from the outfit’s post on Wednesday over what he termed his failure to implement IMA’s nation-wide call to provide 25 per cent discount on OPD fee to voters who showed inked fingers.

“I take moral responsibility for the failure of IMA’s Ranchi chapter to implement the instruction of our Delhi headquarters. The failure of healing hubs to respond to our call is an insult to the highest body of medical professionals in the country,” Kashyap said at a news meet in the capital.

In a bid to boost voter turnout, IMA had issued directives to its centres to ensure that anyone who showed the indelible ink received a 25 per cent discount on OPD charges at all hospitals.

Voters could avail the offer for a week — April 17 to 23.

However, Kashyap on Wednesday conceded that a number of city-based healing hubs did not bide by the appeal.

“The decision to implement the IMA call was taken at a general body meeting of Association of Hospitals and Nursing Homes on March 30. It was communicated to all nursing homes and private hospitals in Ranchi and elsewhere. Bulk SMSes were sent, too. However I am pained at media reports of IMA appeal being disregarded by many healing hubs,” Kashyap stressed.

He added that he had taken up the matter with healing hubs like Harmu Hospital and Sewa Sadan, which, media reports suggested, were not heeding to the IMA call. “On my intervention, a number of these hospitals started providing the 25 per cent waiver. However, some healing hubs chose to disregard the IMA appeal all through,” Kashyap said.

He further said: “It is only fitting that I resign immediately. I have already conveyed my decision to IMA’s Ranchi president R.S. Das.”

The outfit’s Ranchi president R.S. Das said he too was pained by the failure of city hospitals to implement the appeal.

“However, we need to take steps to ensure that such things do not recur,” Das told The Telegraph.

Md.Javed, spokesperson of Ranchi-based Abdur Razzaque Ansari Weavers’ Memorial Hospital, said they had not provided the waiver because nobody had asked for it. “We did not disregard the IMA appeal. Not a single patient asked for the discount. We would have offered the waiver if they had asked for it,” Javed stressed.