Yes, I broke rules, but I?m clean
PROCEDURES SHOULD not take precedence over performance, said Prof Mahendra Bhandari and shared some of his ?off-track? workings and controversies that surrounded him as SGPGIMS director. ?It was my style of working,? he said and openly commented on the vigilance probe constituted against him, Prof Bhandari said, ?Yes, I went against the rules only for better patient care and nothing else. The probe caught me on technical grounds.?india Updated: May 11, 2006 00:09 IST
PROCEDURES SHOULD not take precedence over performance, said Prof Mahendra Bhandari and shared some of his ‘off-track’ workings and controversies that surrounded him as SGPGIMS director. “It was my style of working,” he said and openly commented on the vigilance probe constituted against him, Prof Bhandari said, “Yes, I went against the rules only for better patient care and nothing else. The probe caught me on technical grounds.”
This was evident from the fact that 20 allegations pointed out breach of rules mentioned in the financial handbook and there was nothing about monetary gain.
UP has a system where only ‘procedure’ has a scope and to ‘perform’ one has to step on someone’s shoes. “If I had to perform I did it objectively and what was wrong in it,” he said.
“As a clinician I looked for space and quality while coming to UP back in 1980s but in the ‘tight-chest’ system the only way to go was procedurally, which could not cater to run hospital services. I went objective in working and that is what could not be swallow,” he said. “Tell me if the patient is dying today should I wait for days and months to get things done or choose quicker options with transparency and accountability to work with?” He argued.
“I knew it had nothing to harm me and I would come out clean. But I waited to let it happen instead of reacting to it for further controversies,” he said. They say, he added, higher the purchase rate more is the commission but that is not the truth always.
He even questioned the selection of respondent in the probe in connection with the probe set up against him and the recent one against the present PGI director. “If the financial rules were avoided the procedure adopted was equally transparent and open. Then why only the institute head be held responsible when the governing body had passed all those procedures?” he reasoned.
About controversies on KGMU campus, Prof Bhandari said, “they targeted me but I never went down to their level to react. Instead I made my own roads. I knew I had to balance my energy and conscience and I did it while they hurled allegations and abuses from the road side.”
Among over 200 faculty members, Prof Bhandari had just one to choose as his favourite. That was Dr SN Kureel of the Paediatric Surgery Department.
Asked why? “He is a man with a spine. He opposed me as the Executive Council member and even as faculty member and he did it openly while others remained on the road side and never came in front to hurt me or hurdle my ways.”
“Crush and go ahead is an obsolete formula and I don’t use it but to make change I may have hurt someone’s business unintentionally,” said Prof Bhandari who would leave for Paris on May 12.
He would first join the Henneryford Hospital in the US as the head of the Robotic Surgery Department and plan the next step in six months. The target is to make available cheap Robotic Surgery in India.
His message to the faculty is, “Maintain integrity and patient care first.”