Reminding All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) that patient care needed to be given priority over ego clashes, the Delhi High Court on Thursday allowed suspended surgeon Dr A K Bisoi to perform surgery on infants suffering from heart ailments.
But as he will remain under suspension and Dr Bisoi will not be entitled to any extra remuneration, the court said.
The fate of infants requiring life-saving switch surgery on arteries remained uncertain after the cardiothoracic surgeon was suspended on March 9 on allegations that he helped in the appointment of an unqualified person.
Rekha, a mother of an infant, had moved the court seeking intervention to allow Dr Bisoi to perform the surgery.
“We accept AIIMS’s right to place doctors under suspension but life is to be given preference over the suspension. We direct Bisoi be permitted to undertake the arterial switch surgery. He is also permitted to undertake surgery for which presently AIIMS does not have a properly qualified and competent surgeon,” a Bench headed by Chief Justice A P Shah said.
As lawyers representing the hospital management and doctors supporting Dr Bisoi made charges and counter charges in the court, the judges preferred to seek the views of some senior experts in the institution present in the court and concluded that Dr Bisoi needed to be brought back.
“We are only interested in saving the life of a child. Nothing less. Nothing more. We are least bothered about the internal issues within your hospital,” Justice Shah had told lawyers of both sides. The court made it clear that it is “not expressing any opinion on merits and justification of suspension order”.
On the contention that the baby did not require switch operation as of now, the court ordered a diagnostic test of the infant under Dr Anita Saxena.
Anbumani Ramadoss, who recently quit as Union Health Minister, and former AIIMS Director P Venugopal had been engaged in a running battle over the running of the institution. Doctors’ association told the court that Dr Bisoi, who is close to Venugopal, was being victimised.