Punjab health minister Jouramajra asks Baba Farid medical varsity V-C Raj Bahadur to lie on dirty patient bed during inspection
The move by Punjab health minister Jouramajra sparks resentment among medical fraternity, Oppn calls it humiliation of renowned professional
Upset over complaints of dirty wards at the state-run Faridkot medical college and hospital, health minister Chetan Singh Jouramajra during an inspection on Friday asked the Baba Farid medical university vice-chancellor Dr Raj Bahadur to lie on a patient bed, sparking resentment among medical fraternity and sharp reactions from Opposition leaders who dubbed it as “humiliation” of a renowned health professional.
The minister was accompanied by deputy commissioner Dr Ruhee Dugg, Jaitu MLA Amolk Singh and Aam Aadmi Party workers. While taking a round of the Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital, Jouramajra entered the dermatology department and pointed towards a mattress in a “bad condition” and sought explanation from the V-C. Raj Bahadur said with all the available resources, the hospital is trying to give proper facilities to the patients and a continuous effort is being made to improve the shortcomings. The angry minister, however, asked Raj Bahadur, 71, to lie on a patient bed.
“I have ordered the officials concerned to immediately improve the facilities. All health services would be provided to the patients at government hospitals. I will again inspect the hospital after 15 days. Soon, there will be no shortage of medical staff and medicines in hospitals,” said the minister after inspection.
Slamming Jouramajra for his conduct, Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Raja Warring said the AAP minister’s act has demoralised the medical fraternity. “Chief minister Bhagwant Mann should immediately ask the minister to apologise,” Warring added.
Former education minister and senior SAD leader Dr Daljeet Cheema said Raj Bahadur is a much-respected individual in the medical community. “There could be shortcomings but the minister should have spoken to him personally instead of publicly humiliating a renowned professional,” he said.
Former MP Dr Dharamvira Gandhi said, “It’s a very unfortunate incident. There is a civilised way to talk to doctors or officials regarding work. The minister must apologise publicly.”
A doctor, on the condition of anonymity, said the conduct of the minister to belittle a renowned doctor was inappropriate. “A lot of doctors are leaving government services because of such behaviour,” he added.
Abohar MLA Sandeep Jakhar asked the minister to first find out why the facilities were not up to the mark, then give them the required support, set a target and a timeline and then hold those concerned accountable.
Raj Bahadur was first appointed as V-C of Baba Farid University of Medical Sciences, on December 21, 2014, and given extension on December 22, 2017 for a second term. He was again given a three-year extension on December 22, 2020, for a third term, which will end next year.