Describing the sacking of AIIMS Director P Venugopal as "a blatant slap on the face of the medical profession", the Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Wednesday said the move was yet another instance of "tremendous political interference" in the functioning of the institute.
Seeking the intervention of the President and the Prime Minister in the matter, IMA President-elect Sanjeev Malik said, "It is a very, very unfortunate decision. It is a reflection that we are losing the autonomy of premier institutions and medical health services in the country.
"We at the IMA have repeatedly being talking that there is tremendous political interference in healthcare and medical institutions in the country. And today's incident is another reflection of the political pressure," he said.
Malik said, "The removal of Venugopal, a person who has brought glory to the country by conducting the first cardio transplant, and his being summarily dismissed in such a humiliating manner will be extremely demoralising for medical professionals of the country.
"I would only appeal to President APJ Abdul Kalam and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to personally intervene to ensure that the situation does not go out of control...It is a very, very sad day for the medical profession in India," he said.