Peeved over ‘indiscipline’, Jammu GMCH principal opts for VRS – chandigarh
Even as the Covid-19 pandemic rages in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), internal conflicts among senior doctors and with the administrative staff at the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Jammu – the major referral hospital in the region – has caused patient care to be relegated to the sidelines.
Peeved over the ‘indiscipline and chaos’, principal Dr Nasib Chand Digra has sought early retirement under the voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) on Sunday evening.
In a two-page letter to lieutenant governor (LG) Manoj Sinha, Digra said he was choosing to opt for VRS because of interference of ‘extra-institutional officials’ in the working of the hospital.
Saying the chair of the principal was being demeaned, Digra alleged, “A few extra-institutional officers, one or two heads of departments and few faculty members are bypassing departmental hierarchy and approaching the administrative department in technical, professional and administrative matters.”
On being contacted, he refused to name the officials in question but hinted that he might disclose the names in the near future. “Let us wait and watch,” he said.
Digra said interferences in the internal working of the principal’s office will cause anarchy, indiscipline and demean of the office. “It will also allow GMC employees to create nuisance and go scot free with the help of the administrative department,” he wrote, adding that the work culture and inter-personal relationships in the hospital had deteriorated.
Patient care compromised
Amid the internal conflicts, patient care at the hospital has suffered. Since Friday, two patients – a four-year-old boy from Janipur and a 24-year-old woman from Karan Bagh, have died due to the alleged negligence of the doctors.
The minor succumbed to a head injury while doctors allegedly insisted on shifting the boy to an isolation ward while the woman died 10 minutes after she was administered an injection.
Jammu district commissioner Sushma Chauhan has ordered a magisterial probe, to be conducted by a three-member panel within seven days, into the woman’s death.
Hospital on verge of bursting at the seams
Despite the administrations’ tall claims regarding arrangement made to combat the novel coronavirus, six months on GMCH seems to be ready to burst at the seams. Reports of shortage of oxygen cylinders at the hospital have sparked panic among patients and their family members.
“Due to spike in Covid patients, the demand for oxygen has increased manifold and the oxygen plant at GMCH is not enough to meet the requirement,” a doctor requesting anonymity. To cater to the increasing demand, GMCH authorities were compelled to purchase nearly 500 cylinders.
Senior doctors of the hospital said community spread of the deadly virus had started peaking in Jammu.
Reacting to Digra’s letter, JKPCC chief spokesperson Ravinder Sharma questioned the circumstances that forced a senior and committed doctor to opt for VRS and asked the L-G to immediately intervene as the issues raised by the head of the institution need to be taken seriously.