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I?ll return to my Medi-City

AFTER SPENDING the last decade upgrading health services in the state, Prof Mahendra Bhandari is planning a long break. But, he will surely return, one day.

india Updated: May 10, 2006 00:01 IST

AFTER SPENDING the last decade upgrading health services in the state, Prof Mahendra Bhandari is planning a long break. But, he will surely return, one day.

There are promises to keep, he says. And, the next time, when he does return, Prof Bhandari will return with the dream to turn Lucknow into a ‘Medi-City’!
“I have a lot here and can never get disconnected from Lucknow. The gap can be of one or two years but I would certainly return to play yet another innings and contribute to the growth of medical education here,” says Prof Bhandari.

Prof Bhandari’s term as KGMU V-C ends on May 12 upon which, he intends to go abroad. He carries with him some bitter experiences but is quick to point out that the “sweet ones far outnumber the bad ones”.

“There was a time when I was looking after both SGPGIMS and KGMU and moving between them everyday I dreamt of transforming Lucknow into a ‘Medi-City’. Perhaps, this very dream will bring me back at the earliest,” says the Padma Shri.

Prof Bhandari has served two terms as SGPGI director before his current assignment. He heads the Lucknow Management Association as well! His admirers and fans, including management guys, bureaucrats, politicians and numerous surgeons, apart from others, want him to stay on for another term but he says, “I need a change”. His Centenary Hospital project too, is still to be completed.

“I never work on whims. There was nothing personal about my work. It was teamwork towards a mission where some of the members turned away while a big lot remained with me,” he said, adding that he had nothing to comment on the controversies that had plagued him during his tenure at SGPGIMS and KGMU.

Prof Bhandari was witness to six strikes by the resident doctors, a major controversy relating to fire inside the administrative building and even faced a probe for mishandling the finances. But his will power and ability kept him going.

He propelled the PGI campus on to the information highway.

When he joined KGMU, the Bahujan Samaj Party was in power and as he leaves, it’s the Samajwadi Party that bids him adieu. But Chief Minister Mulayam Singh is still all praise for Prof Bhandari and has even asked him to return.

Prof Bhandari has worked in different parts of India from Jaipur to Pondicherry and has connections with over 15 foreign institutes but has a special bonding with Lucknow.

His next assignment is to research cost-effective robotic urology surgery. He is going to the US for the purpose and hopes to bring back means for better and cheaper treatment.