The Union ministry of health and family welfare appointed ophthalmologist Dr Jagat Ram, 60, as the director of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) on Friday.
The institute had been without a full-time director since October 2016 and Dr Ram, head, Advanced Eye Centre, was the senior-most among the three doctors on the shortlist for the post.
His term will run till October 30, 2021.
- Completed MBBS from Indira Gandhi Medical College, Shimla, in 1978, followed by residency in Ophthalmology (MS) at PGIMER in June 1982.
- WHO fellowship at the USA in 1993-1994 and a second one in 1998.
- Administratively, he headed the ophthalmology unit at the PGI for 26 years, working for Eye Bank Society of India for 24 years
- He is presently the chief coordinator of International Council of Ophthalmology (London) from India.
- Has performed 9,500 surgical procedures in children over 37 years.
- Recipient of 24 national and international Awards
- Awarded “Best of the Best Winner” for the discovery of a new surgical technique at San Francisco, USA, 2013.
- Recipient of the Oscar of Paediatric Ophthalmology in Barcelona in 2015.
- Over 300 research publications to his credit in publications like the New England Journal of Medicine and Lancet.
Was placed lowest on short-list of three docs
On October 20, 2016, union health secretary CK Mishra chaired a selection commission meeting that interviewed 26 applicants. The names of Dr Anil Bhansali, head endocrinology, Dr Meenu Singh, professor at pediatrics department and Dr Jagat Ram, head, Advanced Eye Centre, were shortlisted.
However, Dr Ram was placed at lowest position in order of preference on the short-list of three, even as he had more than 24 awards to his credit.
This had generated controversy and some of the Faculty at the PGI moved the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC). Taking note of Dr Ram’s scheduled caste status, the NCSC said that the selection process for the PGI director was a “clear case of discrimination” against a doctor who belongs to the deprived section. The NCSC has directed the Union health secretary to review the selection process, so that “justice” is done.
The newly appointed director of PGIMER, Dr Jagat Ram spoke to Hindustan Times and here is the conversation:
Q. What are the issues that you will take up on priority?
Ans: Tackling the rush of patients in the OPDs and even the emergency are major concerns. This is a new responsibility, but we will work as a team. I will take along all the employees of PGIMER whether they are faculty, residents, nurses and technicians.
Q. How will you tackle the rush?
Ans: We will increase the number of people taking the online appointment that stands at a mere 10% now. We will make extensive use of digital methods. We will also work to reduce the number of referral patients. PGI staff will train staff of hospitals in neighbouring states.
Q. What are your goals and expectations?
Ans: I want to raise PGIMER to the next level and ensure that we match top global medical institutes in patient care, research and training. My goal is to provide highest level of compassionate care, provide quality services to millions of patients visiting the PGI and expand our reach to the underserved sections.