Indore civil surgeon Dr Ratan Khandelwal and Madhya Pradesh Medical Officers Association general secretary Dr Madhav Hasnani - not the best of colleagues - are slugging it out against each other in social media.
Bitter messages posted by the rivals in a WhatsApp group are out in public.
The fight started after Dr Hasnani condemned the death of a newborn at the district hospital, saying it was a clear cut fault of the medical authorities. Dr Khandelwal, the in-charge of the district hospital, retorted stating the civil surgeon should first take care of his department.
The WhatsApp group having a number of senior doctors, health reporters and administrative officials among its members saw Dr Khandelwal dub Dr Hasnani a ‘bhedia’ (wolf) among doctors of the city.
The civil surgeon alleged that Dr Hasnani was involved in various irregularities. “Several times, we have issued him show cause notices but he never responds to them,” he said in a message. “A lot of ill practices have been carried out by the doctor and he is now trying to create a lobby against me just because he is backed by a couple of doctors.”
But Dr Hasnani said he was unable to understand why Dr Khandelwal felt he was being targeted. “This is just not the case. He, on the other hand, is teaming up with a couple of doctors in the health administration and trying to target me.”
In the past, Dr Khandelwal had approached a court when he was not appointed the civil surgeon. He had claimed that there was corruption in the health department because of which doctors don’t want him. Later, the court had ruled in his favour and he was appointed to the post.
“It is a bit amusing to watch senior doctors fight like this. The entire issue is nothing but a display of power politics,” a senior doctor said, adding that it highlighted the two camps in the district health department.
A senior bureaucrat, who also saw the message, but did not want to be named said it was strange for senior doctors to fight in public. “It sends a wrong message.”