Delhi health minister Dr AK Walia took stern action against two senior psychiatrists - both husband and wife - of GB Pant Hospital on Wednesday after students alleged misbehaviour and harassment at their hands.
While psychiatrist Dr Arun Lata Agarwal was transferred to her parent cadre, the health minister ordered an inquiry against her husband, the head of psychiatry department, Dr Sanjay Agarwal.
Students from the hospital's psychiatry department had boycotted work at the out patient department (OPDs) for over a week earlier this month. They also made a few representations to director Dr Veena Choudhary. In this tussle between the doctors and students, several patients were forced to return home or go to other hospitals for want of treatment.
The students then wrote to the dean of the institute, Dr AK Agarwal, and the health minister.
"We have taken immediate action. We have transferred the lady doctor to her parent cadre of the ministry of health and family welfare and sought an inquiry against the head of the psychiatry department," said the minister.
"We can't let patients suffer for no fault of theirs," he added.
The doctor-couple maintained silence on the matter. When HT contacted Dr (Mr) Agarwal over the phone on Wednesday evening, he did not wish to speak.
"They (doctor-couple) have been harassing us for over a year. We had lodged several complaints to the director and medical superintendent but to no avail. Finally we had to write to the dean and the health minister to step in," said a senior resident, requesting anonymity.
"The post graduate students are the worst sufferers, second only to the patients. They have their entire career in front of them and this fear among the junior doctors was exploited by them (the doctor-couple)," said a student, unwilling to be named.
"It is a very sorry state of affairs that a doctor of professor level takes half a month to form a diagnosis, which can be generally done within an hour of history taking," they wrote.