Dr Raj Bahadur, the vice-chancellor of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS) in the state’s Faridkot district Punjab, submitted his resignation to the Chief Minister’s Office late on the night of Friday, July 29. He has resigned after state health minister allegedly forced him to lie on a dirty mattress at a hospital.
Administrators, who have never treated a patient in their lifetimes, not only try to control treatment of thousands of patients, but project themselves messiah by demonizing doctors. Lowly educated celebrities and administrators have found a new easy way to project themselves on higher pedestrian by publically insulting highly educated but vulnerable doctors. The biggest tragedy to the medical profession in the present era is the new fad of administrators to discourage and demonize the medical profession for their popularity gains.
Being so distant from the ground reality, their role should not have been more than facilitators, but they have become medical administrators. To control the health system, administrators have a tendency to pretend that shortcomings in the patient care can be rectified by punishing the doctors and nurses.
Such vulnerability to insult is intrinsic to the doctors’ work, makes them sitting ducks, an easy target for harassment and punishments, if administrators wishes to do so. This vulnerability is exploited by everyone to their advantage. Administrators use this vulnerability to supress them. It is used by media and celebrities who projected themselves as Messiah for the cause of patients, and sell their news and shows by labelling the whole community of doctors as king of fleece tragedy based on just one stray incident.
The painful incident of Dr Raj Bahadur’s humiliation unmasks the everyday struggle of the doctors in the present era. His resignation after the public insult depicts the plight of doctors – being undervalued and demonized by administrators, forced to work as a sub-servant to bureaucrats, irresponsible policing, blackmail by goons and vulture journalism-all have become an accepted form of harassment. The incident has unveiled the despondency, moral burden of mistrust that doctors carry.
Sadly, the society is unable to realize its loss.
Bullied by administrative systems, indifference of Government and venomous media has made it impossible for health care workers to work in a peaceful environment. Is there any punishment for the administrators for mismanagement or poor infrastructure or lack of funds? Looks impossible but punishment to the sufferers is on the cards.
Medical students or aspiring doctors should be carefully watching the behaviour and cruelty by which doctors are governed, regulated and treated by administrators. Mere few words of respect and false lip service during Covid-pandemic should not mask the real face of administrators, indifference of courts and harshness of Government towards medical profession. Choosing medical careers can land anyone into the situations, which are unimaginable in a civilized world. Role of doctor associations, parent institutes has remained more or less weak, spineless and not encouraging.
Hence by selective projection the blame for deficiencies of inept system, powerful industry, inadequate infrastructure and poor outcomes of serious diseases is shifted conveniently to doctors, who are unable to retaliate to the powerful media machinery.
Faridkot district, submitted his resignation to the Chief Minister’s Office late on the night of Friday, July 29.
New Delhi: The vice-chancellor of a medical college in Punjab has resigned after state health minister allegedly forced him to lie on a dirty mattress at a hospital.
Dr Raj Bahadur, the vice-chancellor of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS) in the state’s Faridkot district, submitted his resignation to the Chief Minister’s Office late on the night of Friday, July 29.
Hours earlier state health minister Chetan Singh Jouramajra had asked him to lie down on a dirty mattress during an inspection of Faridkot’s Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital, which comes under the BFUHS.
A video clip of the incident that circulated on the social media, showed Jouramajra place a hand on the veteran surgeon’s shoulder as he pointed towards the “damaged and dirty condition” of the mattress inside the hospital’s skin department.
The minister then allegedly forced Bahadur to lie down on the same mattress.
Though the vice-chancellor himself did not confirm his resignation, highly placed sources in the health department confirmed the same to multiple outlets. When approached for comments, reports that The Tribune Bahadur said, “I have expressed my anguish to the Chief Minister and said I felt humiliated.”
Reports have it that chief minister Bhagwant Mann has expressed his displeasure over the incident and spoken to Jouramajra. Mann has also asked Bahadur to meet him next week.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Bahadur additionally said: “I have worked in 12-13 hospitals so far but have never faced such behaviour from anyone till now. I shouldn’t have been treated this way… it affects this noble profession. It is very painful. He showed his temperament, I showed my humility.”
Bahadur is a specialist in spinal surgery and joint replacement and a former director-principal of Government Medical College and Hospital in Chandigarh. He has also been the head of the orthopaedic department at PGIMER, Chandigarh.
Asked whether new mattresses had been ordered for the hospital, he said: “Two firms sent their quotations and the rate finalisation needs to be done. It is a 1,100-bed hospital and not all mattresses are in bad condition. This mattress shouldn’t have been there but hospital management is the prerogative of the Medical Superintendent.”
Speaking to reporters at the hospital, Jouramajra said: “My intention was not to do any inspection. In fact, I am visiting various hospitals to see what the requirements are so that we can fulfil them.”
Various quarters, including the Indian Medical Association, have criticised Jouramajra.
PCMS Association, a doctors’ body in Punjab, to, in a statement, strongly condemned the “unceremonious treatment” meted out to Bahadur. PCMSA said the way the V-C was treated was “deplorable”, its reason notwithstanding.
The body expressed its “deep resentment” over the incident and said “public shaming of a senior doctor on systemic issues is strongly condemn-able.”