Doctor couple resign over Covid-19 ward duty, get 24 hours to re-join or face action
India is under a complete nationwide lockdown for 21 days as the number of coronavirus disease, Covid-19, cases in India crossed 530 and the death toll rose to 10.Updated: Mar 25, 2020, 07:15 IST
A doctor in a government hospital in Jharkhand’s West Singhbhum district has resigned along with his doctor wife over his deployment in a coronavirus isolation ward through WhatsApp message and then an email, an official has said.
Dr Manju Dubey, West Singhbhum civil surgeon, said on Tuesday she has served a 24-hour ultimatum on Dr Alok Tirkey asking him to re-join duty immediately following state health secretary Dr Nitin Madan Kulkarni’s directive in the morning.
“As per health secretary’s directive, I have asked Dr Tirkey to join duty within 24 hours or else FIR will be lodged against him under Jharkhand Epidemic Disease (Covid-19) Regulation-2020 and Epidemic Disease Act, 1897. He may also face cancellation of his Medical Council of India (MCI) registration if he fails to join back duty immediately,” Dr Dubey said.
She said they received Dr Tirkey’s resignation on WhatsApp on Monday night and on email on Tuesday morning.
“He was earlier in the district under district mineral fund trust but had resigned to join newly-started Dumka Medical College Hospital (DMCH). He resigned from DMCH and re-joined here (Sadar Hospital) a few days ago and was deployed in coronavirus isolation ward three days ago,” said Dr Dubey.
“Barring the couple, none of the other 23 doctors here in the Sadar Hospital has resigned or sought leave as of now,” she added.
The civil surgeon said Dr Tirkey has cited health problems of his wife, Dr Soumya, in his resignation letter. Dr Tirkey is a specialist physician.
Dr Tirkey, on the other hand, said he was a victim of ‘office politics’.
“My wife and sister are in an immunosuppressive state and run a high risk of contracting an infection. Hence, we have sought to resign from our posts. My sister recently had a renal transplant,” Dr Tirkey said.
“Anyway, I am not an escapist and will give my services for the time being. But will resign and leave this job after Covid-19 crisis is over in a month or so,” he added.
He said people of Chaibasa know how he served them during his last tenure in the city.
“I had re-joined here four days ago in non-communicative disease department but was deputed alone in corona isolation ward the next day. Why other doctors were not posted in the isolation ward and how could I manage the rush of patients alone,” alleged Dr Tirkey.
“I took care of the isolation wad from 10am to 1pm on the first day without a protective kit. So was the scene in DMCH, where most of the medicines were not available to treat patients coming in,” he said.
India is under a complete nationwide lockdown for 21 days as the number of coronavirus disease, Covid-19, cases in India crossed 530 and the death toll rose to 10. The eastern state has not reported any Covid-19 cases so far.