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SurferSpeak|'Sack Ramadoss instead'

While surfers decry Venugopal's ouster, they snub docs for neglecting patients.

india Updated: Jul 07, 2006 15:46 IST

The AIIMS saga simply refuses to die down. It has started to resemble the unending saas-bahu saga on Indian television.

The turn of events in the last two days has resulted in a flurry of letters.

First, the sacking of renowned surgeon and director Dr Venugopal by the government, the doctors and administration going for a 24-hour strike and then consequent death of a heart patient have collectively been criticised.

While the controversial sacking has the surfers fuming at the Union Health Minister Dr Ramadoss, the show of strength by the doctors' association and the resultant death of a patient have been collectively panned.

Here's how it went.

Against ouster of Venugopal

Jinesh of Ahmedabad said, "Ramadoss is bringing forth his personal vengeance against the AIIMS director. Cabinet should now step in and decide on the removal of the health minister without any further delay to clean the air, and ensure that the country's premier medical institute continue its work without political intervention."

Reacting at the death of a patient, Anamita Bhattacharya of New Delhi said, "It is a very sad incident. But more than AIIMS, it's the health minister himself who should be blamed for this.

"When he took the decision to sack Dr Venugopal, he should have been prepared for such eventualities like students and faculty going in for a strike thereby affecting the day-to-day operations at the elite institute.

"It's because of his lack of foresightedness that the common people are suffering and that they will continue to suffer."

Dr SR Korada of New Delhi denounced the government's highhandedness in dealing with the matter.

"Venugopal's sacking is a true reflection of the autocratic style of functioning of Health Minister Ramadoss. There are several complaints pending against him before PM. Hence, he deserves to be sacked instead of Professor Venugopal, who is an architect of cardiac transplant concept in India. It is black day for medical field in India."

Rajat Khanna of Mumbai had this to say about Ramadoss.

"Ramadoss is responsible for this and many other deaths - the death of democracy, of meritocracy, of decency in politics, of human dignity (see how Dr Venugopal was treated), among other things."

Reacting to the death and the ongoing doctors' strike in AIIMS, SSB writing from Bangalore has this to say.

"Dr Ramadoss is responsible for this. This incident is nothing but politics and the best example of merit versus reservation drama. Dr Venugopal is a dedicated doctor who gave 45 years service to AIIMS.

"Nobody can deny his service to the nation. If he spends some time with a private hospital, he would be earning thousands. But, instead of earning with a private hospital, he chose to work in AIIMS. This is called selfless service.

But not all felt it was a senseless decision.

For the ouster

Throwing his weight behind the decision, Varughese from Delhi said, "Sacking of Dr Venugopal is an administrative matter and governing body of AIIMS has the right to do so.

Ramadoss is doing very well as a minister. Nobody is questioning his calibre as a doctor. In a democracy, the government cannot allow anybody to function as a lobbyist in a government organisation.

All organisations must function as a part of the government. I would like know that if something went wrong at AIIMS would we simply hold the director responsible or would we question the government for the mishap?"

Rishi from Mumbai too didn't think highly of Dr Venugopal.

"Doctors are behaving like mill workers. Venugopal is not above the board. He was being monitored for more than two years before the board of the AIIMS recommended his sacking.

Do not go by his sweet and victimised talk. Senior AIIMS officials such as him think they are beyond accountability. This is the right thing to do and a clear message that the government means business."

Pritika Kalra Gandhi of Delhi had a very valid point to make.

"As doctors, there should be some feeling of compassion for the extremely sick. Even if doctors want to go on strike, cases of emergency should not be ignored under any circumstances."

"Does one need to close emergency service in order to show one's solidarity with Dr Venugopal? Can't you do the same by wearing a black badge? And after all these you want your salary for the days of inaction which led to death of so many patients?" asked PK Nag, New Delhi.

P Brar of Seattle, USA, too thought on similar lines.

"What about the ethics? Should people be left to die so that the doctors can prove their point by going on strike? This is horrendous. This definitely holds the doctors and the administration in a very bad light."

All views and opinions presented in this article are solely those of the surfers and do not necessarily represent those of