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Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019

AIIMS- Patna admin laxity allows senior professor to flout rules

Hindustan Times has accessed a karyotype report, dated November 24, that Saxena signed as professor and head, department of ‘pathology’ and laboratory medicine, AIIMS-Patna.

patna Updated: Dec 11, 2018 10:19 IST
Ruchir Kumar
Ruchir Kumar
Hindustan Times, Patna
Patna Aiims building Bihar
Patna Aiims building Bihar (HT File Photo)

Administrative laxity has come to the fore over inaction against a senior professor for brazenly violating the director as well as the medical superintendent’s order at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Patna.

A non-medical professional, Ajit Kumar Saxena, professor and head of laboratory medicine department, has defied the director’s orders. He recently signed an investigation report on karyotype (a test to identify and evaluate the size, shape, and number of chromosomes in a sample of body cells) as professor and head of ‘pathology’ and laboratory medicine.

Director, AIIMS-Patna, Dr Prabhat Kumar Singh, had issued an office memorandum on October 28, last year, notifying another senior faculty, Dr Punam Prasad Bhadani, additional professor, as the head, department of pathology. Saxena was then designated as professor and head, department of laboratory medicine.

Saxena, however, claimed he did not have any knowledge about the director’s order.

“I am the seniormost person in pathology and laboratory medicine. I am professor and head of department of pathology and laboratory medicine,” said Saxena.

Hindustan Times has a copy of the director’s office order, which was marked to all heads of departments of AIIMS-Patna.

Hindustan Times has accessed a karyotype report, dated November 24, that Saxena signed as professor and head, department of ‘pathology’ and laboratory medicine, AIIMS-Patna.

This reporter had on November 28 forwarded through WhatsApp an image of the investigation report to the director, seeking his comments. He, however, did not to respond. The director was evasive when this reporter again followed up the issue with him on December 5.

On Monday, when this reporter called up the director again, seeking to know from him if he had taken any action against Saxena, Dr Singh said, “I am now in New Delhi for a meeting of the central institute body of AIIMS. I will respond to your queries when I return tomorrow.” On insistence, Dr Singh said, “I haven’t as of now, .”

Saxena is also accused of violating an order of the then medical superintendent, Dr (Col) SS Gupta. The superintendent’s order of January 24, this year, said that all investigation reports from AIIMS-Patna should be issued only after the signature of the authorised signatory, bearing name, qualification and MCI registration number.

However, the karyotype report, which Saxena had analysed, did not mention his qualification. Being a non-medical professional, he does not have a MCI registration number.

The Supreme Court in its order on December 12, 2017, had ratified the stand of the Medical Council of India and ruled that laboratory report should be countersigned only by a registered medical practitioner with a postgraduate qualification in pathology.

For professor in pathology, the MCI stipulates that one should be a MD (pathology) or Ph.D (pathology) or D.Sc (pathology).

Saxena, however, is an M.Sc in zoology, and Ph.D in anatomy.

Asked about the former medical superintendent’s order, a copy of which is with the Hindustan Times, Saxena said, “I will have to see that. I am working at present. Thank you.”

Saxena is facing the heat after three separate probes — an internal committee of AIIMS-Patna, headed by the then deputy director (administration) Anil Kishore Yadav; another by the ministry of health and family welfare, headed by its director Vikas Arya; and yet another comprising directors of AIIMS-Bhubaneswar and AIIMS-Patna, besides deputy directors (administration) of AIIMS-Bhubaneswar and New Delhi — have questioned his basic qualification for the post he was appointed to.

First Published: Dec 11, 2018 10:19 IST