Dr YK Chawla’s term as director ends, but little has changed in PGI | punjab$regional-takes | Hindustan Times
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Dr YK Chawla’s term as director ends, but little has changed in PGI

punjab Updated: Oct 06, 2016 22:27 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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Dr YK Chawla(HT File Photo)

When Dr Yogesh Kumar Chawla was appointed director of the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in 2011, he talked about improving emergency services, working conditions and giving thrust on organ transplant programme among other things.

Five years later, as his term as director ends on Thursday, little has changed at the region’s premier health institute with its basic problems still unresolved even as Dr Chawla tried to make some changes here and there. The emergency and the new OPD (outpatient department) remain as much mismanaged as they used to be.

He made no major intervention to improve the condition of various departments, which need a complete overhaul.

Also read | HT Spotlight: It’s an Emergency at the PGI in Chandigarh

Some of the old demands of the faculty are starting token system at the new OPD and making it centrally air-conditioned. In the absence of these facilities, patients and doctors have to sweat it out, especially in summer. “Initial planning for air-conditioning of OPD has been done,” said a PGI official.

To streamline things in the emergency section, resident doctors went on strike for two days, following which the temporary triage system was started.

Good quality of food, better scrubs (clothes surgeons wear while doing operations) and potable water in hostels are some of the unmet demands of students.

The organ transplant programme, which Dr Chawla had promised to upgrade, gained momentum during his tenure. The institute also conducted four heart transplants during this period.

The Sangrur outreach centre is almost complete and will be functional soon.

Online registration services were started. Also, lab reports of many departments can be accessed online. The first phase of computerisation was completed.

Last year was an aberration in his largely uneventful tenure, with controversies such as ambulance scam, strike by resident doctors and nurses besides granting foreign leave to a doctor (Dr AK Gupta) coming to the fore.

“Dr Chawla will be remembered as a weak director as he did not take decisions for the betterment of the institute,” said Dr TD Yadav, president, Faculty Association, PGIMER.


The Union health ministry has directed Dr Subhash Varma, dean of institute, to take charge as the PGI director until further orders, after the term of Dr YK Chawla concludes on October 6.

Dr Varma, who is out of station, said he had not received any such communication yet.