IMA writes to Bihar CM for removal of health secretary
The Bihar branch of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has sounded a bugle of revolt against health department’s principal secretary Uday Singh Kumawat and has written to chief minister Nitish Kumar for his removal.
“The approach of Kumawat is quite indifferent towards doctors, though all the principals and superintendents of medical colleges are rendering invaluable service in the midst of Covid-19 pandemic. The doctors are quite upset with the decisions taken by the officer,” said the letter written by IMA honorary secretary Dr Sunil Kumar to the CM.
The IMA has urged the CM to reinstate former principal secretary, department of health, Sanjay Kumar, who had swapped positions with Kumawat on May 21. The copy of the letter has also been sent to health minister Mangal Pandey and chief secretary Dipak Kumar.
Maintaining that Sanjay Kumar was sensitive towards doctors, the IMA has also raised a question mark over the behaviour of two district magistrates of Bhojpur and Gopalganj towards the doctors.
“In the past also, they took unwarranted action against the doctors and the IMA had registered its protest against it,” the letter read, seeking the transfer of both officials so that the doctors could discharge their duty with high morale.
On the lines of a government order to earmark 25% beds in Covid-dedicated hospitals for police officers and administrative, the IMA has sought a similar arrangement for the government and private doctors. “The IMA has always worked shoulder-to-shoulder with the government. In the wake of the pandemic, the IMA appeals to all the doctors to work for providing healthcare to all the needy,” it added.
In the wake of rising Covid-19 cases, the Bihar government had in a surprise move removed Sanjay Kumar from the post of principal secretary, department of health on May 21. Though the government cited no official reason behind the move, it was viewed as a result of slow testing and the growing spread of infection.
During the Cabinet meeting on Friday, chief minister Nitish Kumar was said to be quite unhappy with the continued spike in Covid-19 positive cases, which has led to relentless attacks from the Opposition. The CM reportedly reprimanded health department principal secretary Uday Singh Kumawat after the health minister said that the officer did not even listen to him.
The CM has been consistently asking for an increase in testing - the reason he was upset with Sanjay Kumar and why he is miffed with the new incumbent. “I want RT-PCR tests to be increased to 20,000/day and facilities should be made available at the sub-divisional level so that the patients could be treated there,” he added.