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AIIMS Docs March From Bhopal to New Delhi, MP Says Demand Will be Fulfilled After Karnataka Polls

Dr Chandan Kumar Aryan and Dr Sant Guru Prasad, the two interns marching 760km say that without a director, several specialised services, including stem cell bank, renal transplant and liver transplant, and emergency services like trauma centre have been affected.

PTI

Updated:May 11, 2018, 11:15 PM IST
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AIIMS Docs March From Bhopal to New Delhi, MP Says Demand Will be Fulfilled After Karnataka Polls
Dr Chandan Kumar Aryan and Dr Sant Guru Prasad had started from Bhopal on May 3 and are covering around 35 km daily. They plan to reach New Delhi by the end of this month to meet Health minister JP Nadda and officers from PMO.
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Bhopal: Braving the blistering heat, two interns from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Bhopal are walking all the way to Delhi to press for their demand of a full-time director as the lack of one, they say, has rendered this premier healthcare into a mediocre organisation.

The previous director, Dr Sandip Kumar, had left on May 21, 2015, after being accused of purchase anomalies. Since, then the hospital has been headless, despite a full-time director being critical for day-to-day operations. The central government did appoint Dr VK Sharma, a senior physician from AIIMS New Delhi as the director in 2016, but he refused to join.

Dr Chandan Kumar Aryan and Dr Sant Guru Prasad, the two interns marching 760km say that without a director, several specialised services, including stem cell bank, renal transplant and liver transplant, and emergency services like trauma centre have been affected.

Even if we approach the administration for petty problems like defunct water dispenser in hostels, we are told to wait until the in charge director Dr Nitin M Nagarkar visits Bhopal. Dr Nagarkar is the director of AIIMS Raipur and holds additional charge of AIIMS Bhopal.

Dr Prasad says that against sanctioned posts of 305 faculty members, the institution has only 137 posts filled while against sanctioned 43 departments, the institution has 35 departments that are functional.

Against sanctioned 27 operation theatres, the hospital has just three functional OTs. Due to the acute shortage, wait times for a surgery can be as much as one and a half years.

Accompanied by two part-timers, Dr Suman Raushan and Dr Kartik Kedar, the two had started from Bhopal on May 3 and are covering around 35 km daily. They plan to reach New Delhi by the end of this to meet Health minister JP Nadda and officers from PMO.

“We need to protect ourselves against baking heat and also take water breaks frequently to avoid dehydration,” they said. They claim to have the support of AIIMS Bhopal students as well as the Residents Doctors Association of AIIMS, New Delhi.

The medicos had protested before Union Health minister Nadda during his visit to Bhopal in 2016 and demanded a boost in infrastructure. The protest had gotten mired into a controversy when an alleged outsider had thrown ink on the minister.

A city-based anti-graft activist, Nagendra Saraswat, who had filed several PILs against anomalies of AIIMS Bhopal, accused the institute administration of flouting norms while appointing faculty members and other staffers.

A Rs 3 crore MRI machine has been gathering dust for a while, Saraswat said. “One of the medicos was suspended when he had complained to PMO about anomalies,” he claimed.

A civil supplier who was associated with the institution also claimed that the administration normally shifts the buck on lack of full-time director for slack civil works, most of which are running behind schedule. “Portion of main building, several labs and hostels are far from complete”, said the supplier.

Despite all the drawbacks, Bhopal MP Alok Sanjar, who is also the member of AIIMS governing body, saw the brighter side of things.

“In last few years, the institution has taken rapid strides in improving infrastructure and amenities,” said the MP, adding, “The mega-hospital has obtained quality physicians and faculty members. The process of appointments is going on.”

But he accepted there have been some justified demands by students and that the part-time director has avoided taking major decisions due to the temporary nature of his appointment.

The BJP MP, however, claimed that the process of appointing a full-time director was on in New Delhi and the institute could get a permanent director soon after Karnataka elections.

“I had also told this to protesters who met me but they remained adamant on taking out protest march,” said the MP, adding he would again talk to officers in New Delhi on the appointment on Saturday.

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| Edited by: Bijaya Das
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