To manage the show at Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, the union health minister has appointed an officer on special duty (OSD) for PGIMER.
According to sources, Dr Varinder Garg, a radiologist from the department of health and family welfare, Punjab, has been selected for the post. Garg has done MBBS and MD in radiology from Government Medical College, Patiala, and is currently posted as medical officer at Civil Hospital, Sangrur.
Sources confirmed that the PGIMER administration received a communication regarding his appointment on Wednesday. His was appointed by former health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan. Confirming the development, Dr Garg said, “Though the process for my appointment is on, I still have to relieve from my parent department.”
Dr Garg will act as a representative of the health minister at PGIMER. Sources revealed the main function of the OSD will be to act as a bridge between the PGI administration and the union health ministry.
Significantly, it is not for the first time that the health minister has appointed an OSD to look after the affairs of PGIMER. Around three years back, Yogesh Sawhney, a Congress leader and former minister for youth services and sports from Jammu and Kashmir, was appointed as an OSD of the then union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.
Former union health minister Sushma Swaraj had for the first time appointed Rajinder Sikka, the office superintendent for Haryana public works department, as her OSD to the PGIMER.
Though PGIMER is an autonomous institute, it gets funding through the ministry of health and welfare, and as per the PGI Act, the union health minister is ex-officio president of the governing body of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research.
So, a lot of communication and various decisions are taken by the union health minister when meetings of the governing body don’t take place for a long time. However, these decisions later need to be approved by the governing body.