The Telegraph
Friday , June 13 , 2014
CIMA Gallary

Doctors leave AIIMS for lack of facility

As many as five doctors have quit their posts at AIIMS-Patna since last year. Sources said they moved to other hospitals in the country unhappy with the infrastructure facilities at the Patna health hub

What’s happening

Even if doctors at Patna Medical College and Hospital and Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences are deciding to move, they are doing so within the options in the state. Not so with the AIIMS doctors who are choosing to leave Patna

Who left & who would

Last year, three doctors left AIIMS-Patna for other super-speciality hospitals or sister concerns. Gaurav Sharma of the medicine department and Supriya Sharma in surgery moved to Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow. R. Das in the anatomy department shifted to AIIMS-Bhubaneswar.

The departure has not stopped at that.

Lokesh Singh Shekhawat, one of the two assistant professors in the psychiatry department, left the job around January for Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Chandigarh. Puja Gupta, an assistant professor in the pharmacology department, left around a fortnight back for AIIMS-Delhi.

Bishwadip Chatterjee in the psychiatry department has also submitted his resignation. It is yet to be cleared by the administration

Why the sudden move

Supriya Sharma is one of the few surgeons in India to have performed a liver surgery. Sources said she moved to AIIMS-Patna with the hope of taking up more initiative but was unhappy for not being able to perform a surgery for a long time. The lack of infrastructure — development of liver transplant facility at AIIMS-Patna could take at least two years — discouraged her to stay on.

R. Das also moved because of delay in construction of the anatomy laboratory and other infrastructure.

One of the doctors still working at the hospital, on condition of anonymity, told The Telegraph: “AIIMS-Patna has not become fully functional after such a long time. That has been one of the main reasons for the doctors to leave. Lack of publications in the in-house journals that help in promotion also played a part.”

Residual effect

The continuous departure implies AIIMS-Patna is falling back on both studies and patient care.

“Few months ago, we had two assistant professors in the psychiatry department. Lokesh Singh Shekhawat left five months ago and now, Bishwadip Chatterjee has also submitted his resignation to join AIIMS-Delhi. If he leaves, too, it would definitely hamper the studies. People in need of psychiatric assistance would also be inconvenienced,” said another doctor

Health speak

R.P. Ojha, additional secretary, health, said: “We can’t stop the doctors from joining other hospitals. We have a rule that if a doctor leaves a job before completing 20 years in any state-run health institution, he/she would have to resign from the post. The doctor won’t be entitled to pension benefits.”

Doctors leaving for other hospitals is not the rule though. At present, there are around 60 doctors at AIIMS-Patna. At Paras HMRI Hospital, doctors are also joining in from Delhi and Calcutta.

“We provide a conducive environment and handsome salary. A plastic surgeon with an MCh (master of chirurgical) degree is given around Rs 2 lakh, which is more than most other reputable hospitals,” said Ravishankar Singh, general manager, Paras HMRI Hospital.

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