The first indications of a truce between heart surgeon Naresh Trehan and the management of Escorts Heart Institute were evident on Thursday when a group of doctors close to Trehan, who had sought appointment of a three-member panel to run Escorts on Wednesday, informed the Delhi High Court that efforts were on for an amicable resolution of the dispute.
Appearing before Justice Gita Mittal when she was about to take up for hearing a bunch of petitions filed by the doctors against the Fortis management, senior advocate Rajiv Sawhney, counsel for the doctors, said the two parties needed more time to "sort out the dispute amicably and need some more time for resolution".
Adjourning the hearing of the petition to May 29, Justice Mittal used the opportunity to appeal to both the sides to "settle the issue at the earliest in the interest of the patients".
"I am not concerned with the petitioner, nor the respondent in this case. Let us look at the patients' interests. Settle the issue among yourself. Let the hospital not become a battleground for equity, revenue and remuneration at the cost of the welfare of the patients," the judge said.
Escorts, the country's best known heart hospital, was thrust in the news when Trehan was sacked as executive director last Friday, with the new management announcing that Trehan had "relinquished" the post to concentrate on his Rs 1,000-crore Medicity venture. Trehan had fought back, saying that he would never abandon his patients. On May 19, the Delhi High Court had ruled that Dr Trehan and his team be given unrestricted access to treat his patients at Escorts.
The situation progressively turned ugly over the week, with both Trehan and Escorts management accusing each other of creating problems that interfered with patient care. Trehan has also filed an application seeking the permission of the court to be a party in the original suit filed by Rajan Nanda's brother Anil Nanda challenging the transfer of Rajan's 90 per cent stakes to Fortis Healthcare Limited in 2005.