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AIIMS doctors go on strike after professor ‘slaps’ resident

Dr Atul Kumar, professor and chief of RP centre, the ophthalmology department of the hospital, had allegedly slapped a resident doctor in front of junior doctors and patients.

delhi Updated: Apr 27, 2018 20:21 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
AIIMS,All India Institute of Medical Sciences,AIIMS doctors strike
The strike will affect OPD clinics, services in wards, surgeries. (HT File Photo)

Resident doctors of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences on Thursday went on an indefinite strike, demanding suspension of a professor who allegedly slapped a resident in front of staff, junior doctors and patients.

The hospital has cancelled all routine surgeries and the out patient clinic will be restricted because of the strike of the resident doctors. All academic activities and exams have also been postponed indefinitely.

The doctors said Dr Atul Kumar, professor and chief of RP centre, the ophthalmology department of the hospital, not be allowed to mentor thesis of candidates or take examinations as “he verbally threatened he will fail candidates,” a complaint letter by the resident doctors’ association to the director, AIIMS said. The resident doctors said he should provide a written apology.

Dr Atul Kumar did not respond to repeated calls and texts.

The hospital administration said they had constituted a committee under the dean of research, Dr Chitra Shankar, to investigate the claims.

“An incident was reported wherein a faculty member had slapped a resident doctor in the AIIMS hospital. The faculty member apologised repeatedly to the resident, immediately and today morning.The resident doctor wrote to the director, acknowledging the apologies...and requested that no further action be taken in this regard. The director instituted a five-member committee to be chaired by dean, research, to inquire into the incident. The concerned faculty member offered to proceed on leave,” a statement from AIIMS said.

Senior faculty will provide care to patients in wards and ICUs. “The director has appealed to the RDA to call off this illegal strike in the interest of patient care,” the statement read.

“The doctor was in the process of admitting a patient when Dr Atul Kumar came for the rounds. He started scolding the doctor for not having admitted the patient by then. That’s when the doctor’s phone began ringing and Dr Kumar lunged forward. The resident held his pocket to prevent Dr Kumar him from reaching it. That’s when he was slapped and his specs fell to the ground,” said a doctor who was present but didn’t want to be named.

The doctors alleged this was not the first instance of harassment by Kumar. “We demand the immediate suspension of Dr Kumar because 150 residents of RP Centre said they do not want to work with him,” said Dr Harjit Singh Bhatti, president of the resident doctors’ association.

First Published: Apr 26, 2018 22:46 IST