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Medical council quizzes RIMS head - RIMS check: Query on temporary staff, rusted microscope

Medical Council of India member Malti Mehra (right) during an inspection at RIMS.

Ranchi, March 19, 2008: The director of the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) cut a sorry figure when Malti Mehra, a member of the Medical Council of India (MCI), asked him if it was proper to appoint an audiologist on daily wages in a government-run institute like RIMS.

Mehra was inspecting the outdoor unit of the ENT department on the first day of her visit to RIMS with Madhur Yadav and Sushma Pandey. She placed a few questions before RIMS director N.N. Agarwal after learning that the only audiologist of RIMS, Vivek Mohan, was working on daily wages despite having adequate qualifications.

“The technician has shown his appointment letter to me when I was interacting with him. You issued the letter on February 29 this year and it clearly shows that he is on daily wages. How can he work properly in such a way?” she was heard asking the director.

A RIMS doctor admitted to the problem and said temporary workers were doing a majority of the work at the institute and there was a need of staff members. “It is easy to provide building and equipment to run an institute like RIMS but for using the equipment and maintaining the infrastructure an adequate number of employees is required,” a doctor said, requesting anonymity.

Agarwal was not available for comment, as he was busy escorting the members to the central pathology department, CT scan room, hematology laboratory, experimental physiology laboratory and the anatomy department of RIMS till The Telegraph reporter accompanying them was forbidden to do so.

Sources said Mehra also expressed concern over the non-availability of a radiation technician at the CT scan room and poor condition of the hematology laboratory. “Why is the microscope in a rusted condition? This does not look like a laboratory at all,” a source quoted her.

The MCI team would carry out its inspection till tomorrow and send its report within a few days. An MCI team visits RIMS every year to check the progress of the institute. The government also contributes to satisfy the MCI team. “As a result of a regular inspection, RIMS is gradually improving,” said a nursing staff of the institute, requesting anonymity.

Bird flu wards equipped but empty

Ranchi:Infrastructure and life-saving drugs are present, but the ward lies vacant.

The newly opened bird flu wards at the Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH) and state’s apex medical institute Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) are lying defunct as not a single bird flu case has been reported from the state so far.

The 10-bed and 28-bed bird flu ward at IDH and RIMS, respectively, are well-equipped with basic infrastructure like anti-viral medicines and personal protection instruments (PPI) which were brought from New Delhi.

Ranchi district civil surgeon Shyam Sunder Singh said the ward was started to deal with bird flu cases.

“We were worried as it was believed that such cases would be reported in the state,” Singh added.

Singh further said that people of the state had stopped consuming chicken as well. “Thus we also opted for massive culling at Anagada, Silli and Sonahatu, which are close to Bengal,” Singh said.

Meanwhile, N.N. Agarwal, the director of RIMS told The Telegraph: “We had opened the bird flu ward as our neighbouring state was getting alleged cases.”

The director further justified that it was part of a precautionary measure. “It will remain open for patients throughout the year as we have arranged for life saving drugs and equipment,” Agarwal said.

But the state is still awaiting for a directive from health commissioner S.P. Sinha on whether it was safe to consume chicken. “He has gone to Delhi to get the permission from the central government,” Sinha said.

Sarangi dares Rims with post promise -- Staff to be absorbed

Ranchi, Sept. 19: The health department sowed the seeds of another controversy with minister Dinesh Sarangi announcing that doctors and paramedical staff of the erstwhile Rajendra Medical College and Hospital (RMCH) would be absorbed in Rims.

Sarangis announcement came at the installation ceremony of the newly-formed Jharkhand unit of Indian Medical Association (IMA).

The governing body of Rims had earlier told the high court that doctors and paramedical staff working in the institute were not employees as they had not been absorbed yet.

But the ministers statement could put the government on a collision course with Rims as its governing body, headed by the chief secretary, has always maintained that there would be fresh appointments in the institution, contrary to the states wishes.

Sarangis statement is also significant in the backdrop of speculation that the government is preparing the ground for clipping the wings of the governing body.

The government is aware of the shortage of teachers at Rims. We are committed to fill up the posts of doctors in Rims by absorbing the RMCH doctors, Sarangi said.

The Rims Medical Teachers Association promptly responded and welcomed it as the right move.

Vice-president Arun Kumar Sharma said the association would paralyse work at Rims if the governing body goes ahead with its decision to make fresh recruitment. Jharkhand High Court has already stayed the previous order in the matter of retirement of doctors of Rims.

The matter was put up in court when five doctors of the institution Madhup Lal, Ranganath Singh, Chandra Bhushan Sinha, Manoramam Bihari and Bimal Kumar Sahay had filed a case challenging their age of retirement.

Except Sahay, the other four doctors were due to retire on June 30 when they turned 58 as per the rules of the state government.

The doctors refused to accept their retirement because they claimed that they were under the authority of Rims and not the state. The doctors had earlier pleaded that they would prefer to join Rims during the changeover.

According to the rules, the doctors should have been absorbed within a year. But as the institution failed to do so, the onus lies on it to absorb the doctors, the petitioners had said.

RIMS girl tops in final MBBS examination in state

Ranchi, Jan. 5: While looking at her one is compelled to repeat like father, like daughter over and over again. With her father B.M.K. Sinha, a doctor posted at the CCL Hospital, Ranchi, and also the president of the Indian Medical Association, Ranchi branch, medicine was in her blood.

Rachna Sinha never had to give any second thought to what her profession would be, as she knew in her heart that she would one day join the legion of white-coat wearers. I did not have any difficulty in selecting my career. I always aspired to become a doctor as I was used to the atmosphere, she said.

For Rachna, who has topped the final MBBS examination from the prestigious Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences, success is achieving ones goal and fulfilling ones dreams. It cannot come without hard work and dedication. And for Rachna success has no short cuts. When you start working towards fulfilling your dreams, the entire universe helps you in your endeavour. Therefore one should not worry much about the results and just work, she adds.

Rachna, who came out with flying colours in the final MBBS examinations after sweating it out for five years, is also the university topper. She has also acquired honours marks in anatomy and pathology. A bright student ever since school days, Rachna has secured 67.5 per cent in the final MBBS. She now wants to do the MS and the M.Ch (a super specialisation) in paediatrics and surgery.

She is not much interested in obstetrics and gynaecology, a stream most of the female medicos take up. Instead, I find paediatrics more interesting and challenging. I love being with kids, she told The Telegraph.

With doctors fast losing out their credibility and respectability, she wants us to realise that its not unique to her profession alone. There has been a moral erosion in the society and in all the professions, she said candidly.

She defended the doctors saying most of them do whatever they can to treat the patients, But, we are not Gods. There are cases where we fail to save our patient and thus face the wrath of the kin.

An alumnus of DAV Shyamali, Rachna had passed her Class X examination with 92 percent in 1997.

Rims review hiccups

Ranchi, July 18: The issues, which are likely to be taken up by the Jharkhand Assembly Petition Committee members when they meet the officials of the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (Rims) tomorrow, may cause a flutter once more.

The non-formation of the Rims regulations and improper monitoring of different development projects by the general body of the hospital are most likely to be taken up during the meeting.

While Rims officials are apprehensive of the queries put forth by the committee about not being able to formulate the hospital regulations till now, the committee members said it hampers proper functioning of the Rims.

Activities are halted unless the regulations are framed.

The members are also expected to review the budget allotted to the hospital and why a major portion of it could not be spent for the development of the hospital all these years. The proposed formation of new departments at the Rims is also likely to be taken up by the committee members. Not surprisingly, before the meeting, the Rims officials were busy preparing the files containing information of different projects. Interestingly, one or two files, which the officials earlier stated as missing, have also been found.

For the proper functioning of any machinery, its regulations should be formed first. But it is completely missing in the Rims. We would like to explore the reasons why the hospital could not frame the regulations, RJD MLA and committee member Girinath Singh said.

Rims director J. Prasad said all the formalities regarding the preparations of files, which the committee had demanded have been done and that would be submitted to the committee tomorrow. The details of the budget allotted to us have also been given in the reports. We are ready to answer their queries, he added.

Season of discontent back at Rims

Ranchi, Sept. 28: The Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (Rims) is in for another spell of agitation by teachers and doctors.

After the decision of junior doctors to proceed on an indefinite strike from October 4, comes todays resolution by teachers of the institute to renew their protest against the Rims authorities.

At a meeting of the Medical Teachers Association (MTA) held today, doctors decided to send a letter to the Medical Council of India (MCI) informing it of the double standards of the governing body on the absorption issue.

More than 125 teachers will sit on a dharna on October 1 against the governing bodys failure to absorb them even after two years of Rims coming into existence.

We have decided to sit on a dharna in the Rims premises on October 1 to register our protest. We wanted to meet chief minister Arjun Munda. But we could not do so as he was away in Dhanbad, said association vice-president Arun Kumar Sharma.

We want to relate how we were paraded before the MCI team as Rims teachers by the administration when they visited the hospital for inspection last year. But now they have asked us to appear for interviews. If we are employees of Rims, how does the question of appearing for fresh interviews arise

He said the association will request the MCI to send its team immediately to inspect the existing teacher strength.

We will not appear in front of them at the time of inspection since we have not been absorbed in Rims, Sharma added.

Teachers have already decided to boycott the interviews for the post of teachers proposed next month unless all existing teachers working since the days of the Rajendra Medical (RMCH) are fully absorbed in Rims.

The Junior Doctors Association has decided to go ahead with its proposed indefinite strike from October 4 morning.

Their demands include appointment of teachers in order to save the institute from derecognition and implementation of the residency scheme. The association has put up posters in the institution informing of the strike.

A doctor posted at Rims said the strike call by the junior doctors has the admitted patients worried. Most are planning to leave the hospital as early as possible while new patients are thinking twice before getting admitted.

Govt feels RIMS panel cheat heat

Ranchi, July 3: The special Assembly committee on RIMS today came down heavily on both the state government as well as the medical institute for cheating people and the panel for diverting funds meant for the upgradation of the premier healthcare centre.

The panel maintained that the state government should have had taken it into confidence before deciding to transfer Rs 120 crore to Patliputra Medical College Hospital, Dhanbad. The fund was granted by the Union government for the modernisation of the institute on the lines of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

Claiming that the state government was not serious about developing the standard of healthcare facilities at RIMS, Dinesh Sarangi, the convenor of the committee, said: The panel should have been told about the fund transfer. Since the committee had been formed by the Assembly, the state government is answerable to it. We have directed the health secretary to furnish all the documents regarding the fund transfer before us by the next meeting.

This is nothing but cheating. The state government has fooled the people. The state government was given the fund during the tenure of Atal Bihari Vajpayee as the Prime Minister. The idea was to set up regional AIIMS centres across the country. But the state government did not take any heed of it. This is nothing but bluffing, he claimed.

Turning the heat on the RIMS governing body, the committee said it did not produce the annual performance and expense report of the institute in the last five years.

Something wrong is going on in RIMS. The director of RIMS has been asked to be ready with the annual performance and expense reports of last five years before the Monsoon Session. We need to see whether the funds had been utilised properly or not, said Radhakrishna Kishore, a member of the committee.

Sources said the RIMS governing body had become almost toothless and that RIMS was now governed by the Assembly committee.

The Assembly committee on RIMS is always after something or the other. Moreover, they are just leaping over their points of reference. If such is the case, what is the use of having RIMS governing body It should be shunted and the Assembly committee should take over, said RIMS sources.

Significantly, the tenure of the committee has been extended till July 17. The original tenure was slated to end couple of months back.


RIMS firm in doc impasse

Ranchi, Oct. 28: The Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) administration today made it clear that there would be no change in their stance against doctors indulging in private practice outside the hospital.

By making their position clear, RIMS has brushed aside a recent Indian Medical Associations (IMA) suggestions about implementing a honourarium system of teaching.

The IMA had faxed the health secretary about the prevalent model in Mumbai. In Indias financial capital, the fax had said, a doctor is not paid a salary but is given the option to take classes, attend the out-patient department and perform surgeries.

Courtesy: http://www.telegraphindia.com

The IMA has suggested that, in order to retain good teachers at the medical college, service conditions at RIMS should let the doctors decide whether they want to claim non-practising allowance by abstaining from private practice or if they want to continue private practice.

RIMS director (administration) Puja Singhal Purwar said: At present, the administration is not thinking on those lines. Anything prevalent in Mumbai cannot be taken up here.

RIMS director reiterated that doctors involved in private practice would not be tolerated. The administration stands tough on its earlier decision. We are not going to allow any doctors to go on with their private practices. If they do so, we are not going to tolerate them, she echoed.

Meanwhile, Ranchi IMA secretary Ajay Singh said the government and the administration should chalk out a measure that would help the institute retain its experienced pool of doctors.

Senior teachers and doctors are slowly opting for other states and there is a gradual brain drain in Jharkhand. Implementing the honourarium system would be a good option to stop this drain, said Singh, emphasising on the need to stop doctors from migrating to other states.

The IMA has also expressed concern at the drain of doctors and suggested that all temporary medics be immediately absorbed into the regular health services through the Jharkhand Public Service Commission.

Trashing proposals to implement changes in RIMS by keeping the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) as a model, Singh said, Things are not the same here (in RIMS). AIIMS is in a metropolitan city and their infrastructure is much richer than Jharkhands. If the non-practising clause has to be implemented on the lines of AIIMS, the IMA had suggested, salary and perks of RIMS doctors should be hiked so that the remuneration is on a par with their AIIMS counterparts.

British vehicles lie defunct at RIMS

Two ambulances equipped with operation tables in poor condition

Ranchi, March 5: If it were the bad road conditions of the state that had kept the two 20-ft long ambulances at bay earlier, now it is their dilapidated condition.

Imported from England, the two ambulances — equipped with basic infrastructure like an operation table and surgery equipment — are lying defunct at the state’s apex medical institute Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS).

However, two years ago, officials of RIMS had tried to navigate into the rural pockets of the state but their efforts proved futile as the vehicles were completely damaged.

The six tyres of both the ambulances were also worn out and have not been replaced till date due to the cost involved. Sources said that both the ambulances had cost the state a few crores.

Shamim Haider, a professor at RIMS, rued that it was not practically feasible to run the ambulances in the state.

“Initially, we toured Gumla, Lohardaga and Khunti but could not reach the remote areas because of its size and the road conditions,” Haider added.

Besides, now it has become difficult to procure the required spare parts.

“Even its oil consumption is quite high and the government is unable to bear its cost. In the then undivided Bihar, chief minister Lalu Prasad had even tried to make it run and had demonstrated it at Delhi on August 15,” Haider said.

Moreover, the medical professor felt that these vehicles were not needed in the rural pockets anymore.

Medical facilities are available in the villages through the primary health centres (PHCs). Medical staff are also manning the centres for the villagers. “Earlier, the ambulance was the only mode of providing medical facilities in villages and so every one felt that the two imported ambulances would cater to the people’s medical need,” said Haider.

One of the drivers, Vivekanand Sarkar, who at present is working in the microbiology department of RIMS said he had driven the ambulance to the Khunti subdivision a few years ago.

“It was really difficult to ply in rural areas. The roads are not suitable for driving such a huge vehicle,” added Sarkar.

Sarkar said that the diesel consumption was also quite high. “The ambulance would only travel 5-6km per litre. The mileage was not suitable and hence bearing the diesel cost of the two ambulances became quite high for us,” he added.

While another medical staff rued that even the government did not give any fund for its repairs.

“Now we have small ambulances which are being used to for the purpose in the city as well as in the remote villages in case of emergencies,” he added

RIMS panel in power review

Ranchi, July 13: A week after Jharkhand High Court questioned the authority of the special Assembly committee on RIMS, the panel members today inspected the hospital in what sources say is a show of power.

The inspection comes a day before the next hearing of a PIL, filed by a citizens forum, asking the high court to ensure than RIMS function properly. Subsequently, the Assembly set up a committee to monitor RIMS, which invited the courts glare. The court asked the Speaker how the House could constitute a panel to monitor an autonomous body.

The inspection team included Dinesh Sharangi, Radhakrishna Kishore, Sushir Mahto, Girinath Singh and C. P. Singh, who was recently involved in a verbal duel with RIMS director N.N. Agarwal.

Before touring the medical institute, the panel had a two-hour discuss with Agarwal. The closed-door meeting, RIMS sources said, was focused on dousing the fire between the MLA and the director.

But panel member Sharangi said the meeting was focussed on the different ways the institute could be improved.

Referring to the issue with the high court, he said: We are doing our job. Let the court do their job. We are always within our limits. But others too should stay within their limits. He, however, denied that this inspection was a show of power.

Singh was mum when asked about his showdown with the director.

But, referring to his threat to bring in a privilege motion against the director, he said: That would be decided by the committee. I have nothing to say at present.

Sources in RIMS said the committee now wants to play safe especially because of the issue with the court.

But it seems the panel did their work in todays tour. Kishore said: The condition of the wards are still not satisfactory. We have asked the director to ensure that the bed sheets are changed every two days. The bathrooms are still in bad shape. RIMS should do something without delay.

He criticised the electricity department for not doing their work properly.

In some wards neither the fans nor the lights are working. These people have the funds but yet are not doing their work properly.

I also came across a patient who was not getting free medicines though she was eligible for it. These things should not happen.

Singh said he does not believe in such inspections. This is not the way to do it. We should not give time for RIMS to prepare for our arrival. Inspections should be sudden. Only then will we get the real picture, he added.

House to hear RIMS Act changes

Ranchi, Jan. 9: The government will move a proposal for amendment in Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) Act in the next Assembly session.

As reported by The Telegraph earlier, the government has initiated the process to amend the Act, clipping the wings of the governing body and the chief secretary who heads it at present.

Chief minister Arjun Munda has given his consent on the proposal.

The modification proposal envisages that chief secretary will no longer be the head of the governing body and instead the health minister will head it. Health secretary will be the vice-chairperson of the governing body. Chief secretary P.P. Sharma informed the special Assembly committee on RIMS, which met here today under the chairmanship of Speaker Inder Singh Namdhari, that a few formalities are to be completed after which the proposal will be sent to the Assembly during the next session for approval. The meeting was also attended by the committee members and officials of the health department and RIMS.

Health secretary Shivendu told at the meeting, convened to review the progress of the committee in the past six months, that the process of appointment of a permanent director was almost over and a new director would be appointed before March 31.

Namdhari, at the meeting, wanted to know why RIMS could not restore its lost glory in the past four years. On this, Sharma named various reasons for it. He took responsibility for the shortcomings and assured him that these would be overcome shortly.

Sources said the health department had sent a proposal to the government after about one-and-half years suggesting modifications in the Act for better functioning and coordination of the premier health institution.

RIMS became an autonomous body on August 15, 2002. But the experience has not been good. The governing body has not been able to take proper care of the institution, sources said.

The government wants that an important post like RIMS governing body chairperson should be headed by a public representative, as has been the practice in many states. Besides, there are may flaws in the Act, which need to be corrected and therefore the modifications.

The government wants RIMS to develop on the lines of Delhis All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) but the present RIMS Act has some basic differences with the AIIMS Act. According to the AIIMS Act, the health minister happens to be the chairperson of the AIIMS governing body, said an official.

RIMS gasps for cash lifeline

Ranchi, Jan. 15: Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), the state's premier health care centre, is on the verge of a financial breakdown as it is yet to get its budgetary allocation for the current fiscal.

Health secretary Shivendu admitted that the situation was extraordinary, but said efforts were on to ensure that the allotment reaches the institute at the earliest. In the meantime, we have asked the Rims administration to divert funds from other heads as a loan to meet day-to-day requirements of the institute, he said.

Rims spends about Rs 5 crore per month on different heads of which Rs 1.25 crore goes towards salary.

The government allotted Rs 58 crore under the non-plan head and Rs 11 crore under the plan head to Rims for the financial year 2005-06. However, the institute has so far not got a single paisa though the current fiscal comes to an end in about two-and-a-half months.

?As a result of the non-allotment of funds, the services in the hospital have deteriorated badly. There is an acute shortage of essential drugs, food items, vegetables, milk, equipment and other facilities, which is ultimately affecting the poor patients, said a senior RIMS doctor on condition of anonymity.

He said suppliers are backing out. Citing an example, he said the agency which provides X-ray plates has stopped supplying since RIMS owes it Rs 20 lakh. The result: patients are having a tough time in getting their X-rays done outside the hospital.

Two days ago, the doctor said, relatives of a patient had a tiff with the Rims staff as they were asked to get the X-ray done outside.

Another doctor told The Telegraph on condition of anonymity that they were finding it difficult to carry out the operation in the absence of basic facilities. The operating theatres (OT) are in a shambles. At times we find there is no cotton gauge in the OT. There is a shortage of emergency medicines as well, he said.

Rims director Jagannath Prasad said the administration was somehow managing its day-to-day affairs by diverting funds earmarked for other projects like development of super-speciality wings or auditorium. About Rs 15 crore has been diverted so far from the funds meant for setting up super-speciality centres of neuro-sciences, cardiology, urology and oncology to meet the crisis. The money will be reimbursed once the budgetary allocation reaches the institute.

Sources in the finance department said the money has been cleared, but the file is pending with chief minister Arjun Munda, who holds the health portfolio. Munda could not be contacted for comment.

A senior official in the finance department said: ?The budget for Rims was cleared by the department in July last year itself and sent to the health department. So there is no hurdle from our part. Chief secretary P.P. Sharma, the chairman of the governing body, was unavailable for comment.

An official in the finance department, however, said all efforts were on to ensure that the money reaches the institute soon. ?We have allotted the funds for the institute and hope they will be able to draw it next week, he said.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has demanded a year?s full budget back-up money to Rims to tide over the crisis. An IMA delegation led by state secretary Ajay Kumar Singh met Munda last week and demanded that sufficient funds be made available to the premier institute.

RIMS surgery head on the block

Ranchi: Disciplinary action, including suspension has been recommended against three senior doctors at Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) for indulging in ?private practice?.

In a letter to the director, Ms Pooja Singhal Purwar, director (administration), has suggested that show-cause notices be served on the head of the surgery department, Rangnath Singh, an associate professor in the department of gynaecology, Dr. Karuna Jha and an assistant professor in the department of neonatology, Dr Krishna Kumar.

While Dr Jha and Dr Kumar are accused of not submitting any declaration they are not engaged in ?private practice?, and consequently not receiving their salary, Dr Singh is accused of accepting his salary and furnishing a ?false?declaration that he is not engaged in private practice.

There is a blanket ban on private practice for doctors at RIMS, Singhal said in her letter, and if Dr Jha and Dr Kumar did not wish to follow the ban they had the option of not working at RIMS. But they opted to work at RIMS and failed to furnish the required undertaking.

The communication states that Dr Singh is attached to a clinic on Ratu Road while Dr Jha owns a private nursing home known as Bharti Hospital near the Doranda overbridge and Dr Kumar is associated with a clinic on Jail Road.

Since June, 2005 all the doctors at RIMS are being paid NPA (Non-Practising Allowance) provided they give a written undertaking to that effect.

The doctors? conduct, Singhal wrote, ?is a clear-cut violation of the RIMS Act? and had adversely affected the morale of other doctors who are following the rules.

Her recommendation could be placed before the chairperson of the governing body for necessary action, Singhal suggested. The RIMS governing body is currently headed by the chief secretary

About Dr Singh, Singhal writes, ? the fact is that he has a roaring private practice at a clinic on the Ratu Road. This is a clear case of false certification by a senior doctor? of his stature. Enclosing a photograph of the clinic, the letter points out that Dr Singh had voluntarily opted to serve RIMS and accept its service conditions.

Dr Jha and Dr Kumar, however, have chosen to work at RIMS without drawing their salary because they have not furnished any undertaking that they are not engaged in private practice. Under similar circumstances, they had also gone without their salary between November, 2002 and December 2003.

Meanwhile, the medical fraternity today welcomed the Jharkhand High Courts? observations against erring doctors and said their absence from duty cannot be justified.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) was, however, guarded in its reaction.


Rims status change a blunder, says top doc

Ranchi, Feb. 8: The issue of the upgradation of Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) today snowballed with neuro-physician K.K. Sinha going on record saying the conversion of RMCH (Rajendra Medical College and Hospital) into Rims was a “big mistake”.

Sinha also happens to be a member of the Rims governing body. Addressing the open session at the annual convention of IMA (IMA-CON), Sinha, regarded as one of the most respected doctors in Jharkhand, said: “It was a wrong on the part of the government. It would have been better had they set up an institute separately. I feel sorry to see the deteriorating condition of Rims.” This was the first time Sinha bared his heart on the issue.

“I had told the then chief minister Babulal Marandi that an institute is not built with money or equipment. Employees make an institution. I told him that the government had enough money and land available and so it should build a separate super-speciality hospital,” said the veteran doctor, who usually shuns publicity.

He said: “Probably, the then chief minister had made up his mind to convert RMCH into Rims. One fine day, I came to know about the decision and that the inauguration would be done in a few days. I also came to know that I have been made a member of the Rims governing body. I wanted to know about the bylaws, rules and constitution of the proposed autonomous body. But that was not properly done.”

On the recent online inauguration of the upgradation of Rims by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Sinha said: “Nobody knows why Rs 120 crore has been given to Rims. This is shocking. Being a member of the Rims governing body, I have no idea whether it is for regional AIIMS or for the upgradation of Rims or for any other thing. There is total confusion there. Neither the Rims officials nor the government has any idea of how the money will be utilised.”

Speaking on the occasion, health minister Dinesh Sarangi said he was still firm on his demand that a separate regional AIIMS should be developed, keeping Rims intact.

“We will request the Centre once again to reconsider its decision on the issue. I had already conveyed our request for a separate regional AIIMS to the Centre and we were promised one. But we were disappointed after Jharkhand was not denied a regional AIIMS,” he added.

Chief minister Arjun Munda promised that all the graduates passing out from the three medical colleges would be given jobs in Jharkhand. He said his government was committed to stop the “brain drain” from the state.

Parley prompts truce in RIMS

RIMS director NN Aggarwal and special secretary (health) Nidhi Khare with district administration officials during a meeting.

Ranchi, March 26: The impasse after the imbroglio between RIMS students and villagers was resolved late this evening following a prolonged dialogue between the district administration, villagers and doctors.

Chaired by subdivisional officer Deepankar Panda, Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences director N.N. Aggrawal, city superintendent of police Richard Lakra and deputy superintendent of police Ravi Shankar attended the meeting with a group of villagers headed by Antu Tirkey.

Members of Junior Doctors’ Association also attended the meeting.

The meeting resolved to take action against the “erring” medics, who have been already identified and named in the FIR.

Besides, police investigation into the matter will continue, too.

Panda said an amicable solution has been reached after talks with the villagers who promised not to take law in their hand on the RIMS premises, which includes hostel number one to five where junior doctors (PG students), undergraduate medical students (MBBS) and interns stay.

“Police action against the students would take its own time. But disciplinary action against them is expected by the RIMS administration at the earliest,” said Panda.

RIMS director Aggrawal said one of the demands of the villagers was to transfer the “erring” students to another medical college, which RIMS management has agreed in principle.

“Villagers have promised not to disturb any medics and help them in smooth running run of the medical services. I request all the students to return to the institute,” said Aggrawal.

Antu Tirkey, who also happens to be the Ranchi district president of youth wing of JMM, said: “We are in favour of smooth medical services at RIMS. Our fight is against the two doctors who were involved in the Friday brawl, which led to grave injuries to two villagers. The administration and RIMS management have promised to take necessary steps against them. Now, we appeal to the doctors to return and help normalise the health scenario in the medical institute.”

Rims students brace for name war

Ranchi, June 4: The Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (Rims) is set to run into rough weather again.

After the March-April strike by the junior doctors, the students have now threatened to “completely paralyse” work in the hospital if the state government goes ahead with the move to reconvert Rims to Rajendra Medical College and Hospital (RMCH). According to them, the move will be anti-people and anti-student.

Talking to reporters, the students said: “We strongly condemn any such move by the government to convert Rims to RMCH.”

The students announced that they would wear black badges from tomorrow as a mark of protest. “If the government brings an Ordinance to this effect, we will completely paralyse the hospital.”

“This is nothing but a ploy of the senior doctors who indulge in private practice. They are the ones who will be affected the most if Rims Act which prohibits private practice comes into force. That is why they want the 'good old' days of RMCH to return,” said a PG student.

The students held the doctors responsible for getting the interviews postponed.

“As many as 1,000 applications from all over the country have come. Our doctors will not be selected in the interviews as they will not compete with those applicants. Therefore they are pressurising the government to convert Rims to RMCH so that their position is not disturbed,” said another student.

As reported by The Telegraph earlier, the doctors have been demanding conversion of RIMS to RMCH. The Indian Medical Association has also supported the demand.

According to a senior IMA functionary, “The intentions behind idea of RIMS may be noble but in the last 22 months of its existence it has failed to move in terms of manpower and patient care. It is still being served by the same lot of doctors to whom RIMS administration is asking to prove their credibility and utility.”

“The conversion of RMCH to Rims was with assets and liabilities, properties and deficiencies. The existing doctors of the then RMCH come under the assets category and the need of the hour is to add to the strength rather than try to replace them with freshers,” he said.

Cupid's arrows hit RIMS medics

AIM Right: A RIMS student takes part in the javelin throw at the athletics meet in Synergy-08 in Ranchi.

Ranchi, Feb. 14: "To hear what is unspoken, to see what is unseen, and to feel without touching is the miracle called schizophrenia... and people call it love," - reads a message on a board at Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS).

Since they shoulder grave issues of life and death all year round, young doctors at Ranchi's premier health centre today indulged in a bit of the "frivolous".

The doctors organised a series of contests to celebrate Valentine's Day comprising of a message-writing competition (hence the quirky messages on the board), a painting (of both the face and the canvas) meet and some athletics events.

"We wanted everyone to participate. So, we had the message-writing competition to encourage anyone who wished to join in - either to poke fun at the day or take it seriously," said Ritika, a student of the 2004 batch. She was the record in-charge at the event.

The set of cultural events was called Kalakriti, comprising canvas and face painting competitions - along with a sketching meet.

The theme for the canvas-painting contest was "Flowers in the flowerpots" while for the sketching competition the participants drew their versions of "Child in mother's lap". "Huliya" or the face painting competition was a "free-style" event giving each participant a chance to choose his or her topic. Young doctors Garima and Khushboo bagged the first prize for their theme - Devil verses the Divine.

Roadblock at RIMS gate

Governor Syed Sibtey Razi, along with his family members, visited Dasham waterfalls to mark World Tourism Day. Later, they visited Nakshatra Van in the evening. The governor also participated in a function organised by Intach to mark the occasion. Razi later said Jharkhand had tremendous potential in the field of tourism. There are forest, waterfalls, lakes and hills. What we need is to develop these places properly so that tourists can go there fearlessly, he said.

It's a smooth ride for patients arriving at the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) until they reach the hospital?s western entrance.

Patients travelling through the road connecting the western gate to the emergency ward at RIMS complain of traffic congestion. The gate in question not only serves as an autorickshaw stand, but is also a lucrative point for numerous vendors.

The entry point is always blocked because of the vendors, rickshawallahs and auto-wallas. They cause a lot of inconvenience, especially for patients coming to the emergency ward, said Santosh Kumar, a resident of the Doctors Colony. These entrances should remain clear, so ambulances have the right of way, he added.

According to Kumar, hospitals are generally built on the outskirts of a town to enable smooth passage for patients. But this does not seem to be happening at RIMS. The idea is to make sure the patient reaches the hospital as quickly as possible, but in the case of RIMS, the patient is held up at the entrance of the hospital, he said.

The woes of the patients are about to get worse, with residents erecting a pandal, for Durga Puja celebrations, on one side of the road. This has blocked the flow of traffic on the corresponding side of the road. Efforts by RIMS to stop organisers from putting up the pandal have failed .

RIMS director Pooja Singhal said she had asked the Bariatu police station officer in-charge to find out who had erected the pandal. We will also depute security personnel to keep a check on autowallahs who park at the hospital's entrance and penalise them, she added.

Tauheed, an autorickshaw driver on the Booty Road-Kutchery Chowk, acknowledged that an auto stand at the hospital?s entrance is inconvenient for patients. He, however, claimed that there was no other option to pick up passengers from RIMS. And as all his fellow drivers do the same he has to follow suit, too. We have to remain competitive in this business, he added.

Residents claim that constables deployed in the area did not pay heed to the menace, but encourage autodrivers by charging money from them.

The police deny this allegation. We do our best to keep this point clear, but some manage to park their vehicles here, said a constable. The Bariatu police station officer-in-charge could not be contacted for comment.

Kumar suggested the open space in front of the eastern gate be made into an auto park. There is a huge open space in front of the eastern gate, which can be utilised, he pointed out.

RIMS Ranchi to publish fresh ad for appointing faculty

Ranchi, May 7, 2008: Fresh applications will be invited for the selection of 101 faculty members for Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) as the health department noticed several anomalies in the first advertisement.

The health secretary and vice-chairman of the RIMS governing body, Siyaram Prasad Sinha, said an advertisement will be published by the month-end so that all vacant posts for faculty could be filled within the three-month deadline set by the Medical Council of India (MCI).

“The advertisement would be published as soon as we interview those who responded to our first ad, which was published on February 1,” Sinha said.

Pointing out one of the anomalies, Sinha said, the advertisement has a fixed age-limit for faculty members but the department later decided to give opportunities to those who are the best in the field irrespective of their age. “How can age be a criterion to select a good teacher?” he asked.

Sinha added that the advertisement published had debarred a candidate who had failed an examination. “A student who has failed in a particular examination can excel in the field while an average cannot,” he said.

Pointing out the third anomaly, Sinha said, the advertisement had not taken reservation into consideration. “It is a cognisable offence. The next advertisement will follow the criteria,” he said.

He added that the final result would be published only after interviewing all the candidates.

“Those who had appeared in the first interview need not reapply. A comprehensive list will be prepared for candidates who appeared for both interviews,” he added.

There are 101 vacancies in the college, including nine posts for professors, 40 for associate professors and 23 for assistant professors.

Applications were also invited for 12 posts in the super-specialty section besides four for general teachers. Around 271 candidates had applied.

Sharp and silent. Focus on change in RIMS

He maintains quite a distance from media, because he does not believe in talking much, rather getting things done.

Meet N.N. Aggrawal, the director of Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), who has already initiated a number of new facilities in the premier health institution in his month-long stint.

But not many people have any clues about the changes. The cause is simple: ?Is there any necessity to make a hullabaloo??

Aggarwal, a former wing commander, who was appointed the director for the second time on March 16 (the first appointment was in February 2004), has got into business of realising the state government?s dream of converting RIMS into a super-speciality hospital on the lines of New Delhi?s All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

A graduate from the Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, Aggarwal possesses many postgraduate degrees, including one each in tuberculosis and chest diseases, aerospace medicine and acupuncture.

Aggarwal, who earlier served in the Armed Forces Hospital, Halwara, feels that a hospital is like an organ of the body where every part ? be it nursing, investigations, treatment ? is equally important and therefore, he says, there are no ?core areas? for him on which he will work.

Rather, I will work to improve all the components of the institution, which consists of a hospital and a medical college,? he claims.

In a conversation with Navtan Kumar, Aggarwal shares his experience at RIMS and talks about his plans to improve the functioning of the institute.

It has been more than a month that you joined as the RIMS director. What has been your experience? Are there any changes here after your appointment?

The first thing, which I have tried to improve, is the campus. RIMS campus now is much more clean and organised. The two gardens are now neat and clean with proper lighting arrangements.

Besides installing a mast light in front of the emergency gate, we have also removed the encroachments from within the campus, that too without any conflict. It was a good experiment for me.

We have also taken steps for orderly parking of vehicles inside the campus.
From next week, we are also going to restrict the number of attendants. Only two attendants can go with a patient inside the hospital for which entry slips will be issued.

What steps have you taken to improve the facilities for patients? What will be the core areas where you will focus to improve patient care?

I will try to focus on each and every area to improve the functioning of the institute and will not confine to just one area.

We have started a state-of-the-art blood bank with all modern equipment. We have also made the neuro-superspeciality centre functional.

Recently, the tele-medicine facility was started wherein patients living in remote areas could get the best of medical advice of expert doctors from all over the country.

The urology and CT cardio departments have also become functional. At present, facilities like MRI and computerised tomography (CT) of heart are available in the RIMS.

The mechanised laundry, which has the capacity of washing 500 clothes, is now also functional.

How do you plan to improve the emergency services at RIMS?

As I said we have started the state-of-the-art blood bank which will strengthen the emergency ward.

Besides this, we are also going to start a trauma centre, which initially will have 20 beds. This trauma centre will exclusively deal with serious accident cases, which require more attention than emergency cases. This centre too will be fitted with all modern equipment.
The state government has recently amended the RIMS Act wherein health minister is the chairperson of the RIMS governing body, instead of the chief ecretary. Is it helping the institute as far as its smooth functioning is concerned?

Yes, this will definitely help the institute. Now we can take fast decisions. I hope this will make a lot of difference in the functioning of the institute.

Things have also become easier for us. So far, there has not been any governing body meeting ever since I joined. I would like to attend the meeting only when I have achieved some milestone.

Is there any proposal to charge money from patients, especially from the affluent ones, for services?

There is no such proposal to charge anything from the patients ? either rich or poor, as RIMS is not a commercial venture.

Treatments here are free of cost and investigations cost almost half of what is there in big hospitals and are quite affordable for all sections of the society.

Many doctors of RIMS are engaged in private practice, which is against their service conditions. What steps are you taking to stop this trend?

As a first step, we are trying to ensure that doctors are present during duty hours. We have made it clear that the doctors have to be there in the hospital when they are supposed to be there. As far as doctor doing private practice beyond duty hours, we will not be silent on that front.

How are you going to enforce discipline in the institute?

Those who violate rules will be not be spared. We are not going to leave anyone who breaches the codes. Recently, we terminated the services of an OT assistant for misbehaviour. Stern action will be taken against those who do not follow discipline.

HC sets aside Rims work order

Ranchi, July 14: Jharkhand High Court has set aside the Rs 12-crore work order awarded by Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (Rims) to Siemens for the installation of two state-of-the-art machines in the hospital.

The division bench of Chief Justice Altamas Kabir and Justice R.K. Merathia passed the order after Wipro, which, too, was initially shortlisted by the Rims authorities, filed an appeal in the court.

The court has asked the Rims authorities to check the machines manufactured by both Siemens and Wipro before taking a decision.

After a PIL filed last year shed light on the absence of advanced machinery in the hospital, which forced patients to go elsewhere for MRI and CT scan, the Rims authorities floated a tender inviting companies to instal MRI and CT scan machines.

Three companies ? Wipro, Siemens and Toshiba ? responded, with the third losing out in the initial technical bid.

According to a condition mentioned in the tender floated by Rims, the authorities were to check the machines of companies, which qualified in the technical bid. So, Rims sent a letter to both Siemens and Wipro requesting them to demonstrate the machines before finalising the deal.

The Siemens officials received the letter but the one addressed to a Wipro agent did not reach the company?s competent authorities. As a result, Wipro had no idea about the inspection.

The Rims authorities then set up a special committee comprising medical experts C.B. Sinha and Madhup Lal who were given the task of checking the machines. The committee checked the MRI and CT scan machines manufactured by Siemens on April 28 and furnished its report to Rims.

The institute decided in favour of Siemens the next day and issued the work order.

On hearing the news of Siemens bagging the work order, the Wipro authorities cried foul. The company then made a representation before the Jharkhand chief secretary and the director of Rims in this regard.

Despite the representation made by Wipro, Rims did not give the company a second chance. Wipro then decided to move the high court.

The single bench of the high court clamped a stay on the work order issued to Siemens and dismissed the petition.

Not to give up, Wipro filed an appeal before the division bench.

Rims lifts teacher hurdles

Ranchi, April 15: The stage has been set for the appointment of teachers at the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (Rims). Eighty posts are to be filled up in different departments from April 19.

Rims director Jagannath Prasad told The Telegraph that preparations for the interview have been completed.

An interview panel, headed by the development commissioner, has been formed. The panel also comprises the health secretary, health director, Rims director, a representative of the Scheduled Castes /Scheduled Tribes and two experts in each subject.

Jharkhand High Court today ordered Rims to appoint teachers to fill up the vacancies in four weeks.

The court directed the Rims selection committee to submit its recommendations to the Rims governing body.

The court had earlier ordered the Rims director, development commissioner and the chief secretary, who is also the chairman of the hospital?s governing board, to appear in court in person. While the chief secretary did not appear today as he was out of station, the other two appeared before court. The court again ordered the trio to appear on May 13 to explain what steps have been taken for the appointment of teachers.

?Appointments will begin on April 19 and is likely to continue for about a month. We have requested experts in various subjects from Benaras Hindu University (BHU), Calcutta University, Cuttuck and Lucknow University to be present during the interviews,? the director added.

He said a merit list will be prepared after the interview. Prasad said: ?Teachers for 18 different departments need to be appointed. Interviews will be held for the departments of anatomy, physiology and biochemistry. Among them, non-clinical (teaching) posts will be filled up first.? At present there are 62 teachers and we must have 142.

Sources said Rims received 1,050 applications from all over the country in response to an advertisement by the administration last year. However, the process suffered a setback as there were protests from teachers who were opposed to recruiting fresh teachers. They demanded that those serving in the RMCH should be absorbed first.

There was a stalemate over the issue for a long time as the then chief secretary Laxmi Singh, who was the chairperson of Rims,was in favour of filling up all the posts afresh. Later, P.P. Sharma, who took over as chief secretary, facilitated the absorption of all the existing teachers. Now only the remaining seats will be filled up, sources added.


The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs today approved the proposal for implementing the upgradation of Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Ranchi, instead of Patliputra Medical College & Hospital, Dhanbad (PMCH), under Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana in partial modification of the decision of CCEA taken on 22.6.2006.

This would fill the gap of tertiary healthcare infrastructure as well as quality medical education in the State of Jharkhand.

Background :

PMCH is functioning from two campuses located about five kilometers apart; one campus houses the medical college building and a partially constructed new hospital building and the other campus has an old hospital which houses Departments of Surgery, Orthopaedics, blood bank etc. PMCH has admission capacity of 50 seats for MBBS and the institution is facing difficulty in meeting the conditions required for recognition by the MCI due to shortage of faculty and other staff. Hospital equipments are also lying unutilized due to shortage of trained manpower. At present there is no PG training and Super-Specialties. Post –graduate training and opening of Super-Specialty departments would require additional faculty/staff and other infrastructure. It, was, therefore, felt that there were large gaps in the Patliputra Medical College and Hospital both in terms of infrastructure and manpower resources. Considering that the PMSSY scheme is a resource led scheme for building of super specialty capacities with an overall ceiling of Rs. 100 crore ( from the GOI) and the State Government’s contribution of Rs. 20 crores, it appeared difficult to upgrade the medical institution to a satisfactory level.

The State Government was accordingly advised to reconsider RIMS, Ranchi for upgradation.

RIMS Ranchi row: Something more than what meets the eye

Future of medical students pursuing MBBS at Rajendra Institute of Medical Science (RIMS) is safe now, as the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has cleared it. But the new question that arises is with whom does the Medical Council of India (MCI) prefer to correspond: the director or the dean?

In addition to it, the MCI seems to be a party to an internal politics forced to brew up on the institute. On Friday the students demonstrating against the RIMS management initially refused to interact with the director, instead questioned absence of the dean in the meeting that took place recently in New Delhi.

It has to be recalled here that on May 7, 2007, the Health Ministry had addressed a letter to the director of RIMS directing him not to admit students for the MBBS course for the academic year 2007-08. In the letter the director was asked to rectify the deficiencies of the college and hospital and the permission for admission depended on the acceptance of the rectification report by the Central Government.

Sources confirmed that the Jharkhand Government and the RIMS director had corresponded with the Central Government on the issue, on the basis of which students of the academic year 2007-08 were admitted.

The question that rises here is whether the Union Government corresponds with the MCI on these issues or not. And, if it does, then why does the MCI discriminate between the director and the dean?

Going by the MCI letter addressed to the dean of the institute (the copy of which has not been marked to the director) on March 18, 2008, the council directed the institute (dean) to discharge all the 90 MBBS students.

The irony is, on March 19 and 20 an MCI team was at RIMS to inspect it. When called up (New Delhi) to known why the team was sent here for inspection when the MCI had already made its mind not to recognise the academic batch 2007-08, the officials refused to comment.

Reacting to the issue, a fourth-year student Digambar Jain said, 'We are not under the director. We are under the dean. When the MCI has sent the letter to the dean, we need a satisfactory assurance from the dean on the entire issue.'

On being asked whether their decision to sit on dharna and threaten to paralyse functioning of the hospital was logical as the threat (that has passed over) was on the 2007 batch students and not on them, Jitendra said, 'We are afraid the situation would arise again. It is high time to make the things clear. We hear the same things year-after-year. It should be stopped now.'

NN Aggarwal, director of RIMS said, 'There is no threat to the students or the institute, why should we discuss the issue any more. I invite people to come and see the present day RIMS and compare it with what they had seen it as a couple of years back.'

Courtsey:Pioneer News Service Ranchi

Healthcare for people with private help

Dinesh Upadhyay
Doctor, Tata Main Hospital

I don?t entirely agree with the suggestion that important departments in Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Ranchi, and Mahatma Gandhi Memorial (MGM) Medical College and Hospital, Jamshedpur, be outsourced. The concept would be a total turnaround of medical healthcare in Jharkhand. Where will the professors and doctors working in different departments go if the departments are outsourced? Every department is important in some respect or the other. It would not be just to outsource human resources (doctors and support staff) because it is the strength of any medical organisation. One must not forget that RIMS and MGM are teaching hospitals, not commercial. The physical structure and equipment maintenance, though, can be outsourced.

Manoj Bakshi
Doctor, Ranchi

Icompletely agree with the idea of outsourcing because despite being an autonomous body, the functioning of RIMS is not satisfactory. Doctors are not regular and punctual while the food available in the canteen is not too nutritious. RIMS is over-staffed and the government is paying the doctors unnecessarily. Besides, the payment of doctors of even AIIMS is not on a par with those in RIMS. On the other hand, the service available to the patients is not of very high quality. At least the departments of gynaecology, nephrology, cardiology as well as paediatrics should be soon outsourced.

RG Narayan
Chairman, Dignity Foundation

Definitely yes. The maintenance of important departments in government hospitals such as RIMS and MGM should be handed over to private concerns. But the outsourcing should be quality based and should give value for money. It should be for specialised functions and not to junk the problems. At present, industries are outsourcing the services primarily with the intention to reduce cost and improve quality.

Shekhar Chaudhury Kajal
Joint secretary, IMA, Ranchi

Indian culture is not accustomed to the system of outsourcing and an institution like RIMS, where service is the main motive, will be badly hit if departments are outsourced. For example, after the recent outbreak of diarrhoea, the patients, who are mostly poor, are rushed to RIMS because the treatment is free. If the departments are outsourced, the private concerns will aim at making profits and the objective of service will be sidelined. The available resources and the infrastructure of RIMS should be fully exploited and that would be sufficient.

GC Majhi
General secretary, East Singhbhum unit of Indian Medical Association

Outsourcing of important departments in a government hospital is not a viable option especially in the interest poor people. In the beginning, the private companies may get ready to do the job at a very low cost. It may even be less than what is charged in government hospitals. In the long run, however, they will start charging more and the government will then have no option but to surrender. There are some private hospitals in the country which are exploiting people in name of providing quality service. The government should never even think of outsourcing hospitals.

Raju Ojha

Outsourcing will lead to more corruption because again to decide who to bring in will create further controversy. There will be a provision for tenders which will lead to corrupt practices. Besides, there would be a race to hoard as much money as possible by those who have been given the responsibility. Hospitals such as RIMS are to provide services to the poor and the condition of RIMS is not praiseworthy. But after outsourcing whatever service is being provided will also no longer be there. RIMS can be run smoothly only when the government takes strict action.

Rini Gupta
College student, Jamshedpur

I feel the entire set-up of both RIMS and MGM should be given out to interested private parties for better management. Outsourcing some departments will serve no purpose at all. Hospitals are places where people go for quality treatment. But the current state of affairs in these government-run hospitals is woeful. Most government doctors are more interested in running their private clinics rather than offering quality services in the hospitals. I am sure that the quality of healthcare will improve by leaps and bounds if private parties are handed over these hospitals. The state government can always reach an arrangement with private concerns to see to it that poor and needy patients get proper treatment at subsidised rates.

Gaurav Khanna
Consultant, Ranchi

Outsourcing of government departments is not the solution for inefficiency. If an institution has to be run smoothly, strict discipline must be enforced among officials. Outsourcing will make the people concerned more irresponsible, which is not what is wanted. Outsourcing of important departments is not practical at all because it will create more problems for the government. Work culture has to be improved because it is the that and the mindset of the officials that hinder smooth functioning.

Dinesh Pathak
Cyber cafe owner, Ranchi

Outsourcing will trigger a fresh controversy. RIMS can easily be improved only by government intervention. Outsourcing will remain merely a word as I do not think anything would change as private concerns believe in profits while the government has opened up RIMS to provide services to poor patients at minimal costs and sometimes even free of cost.

RIMS Ranchi likely to reduce PG seats

RANCHI: Peeved over shortage of faculty in post graduate departments of Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), leading to threats of de-recognition by the Medical Council of India (MCI), the college administration is now contemplating to reduce the seats in post graduate departments.

However, the state government is yet to take a final decision in this regard.

RIMS director NN Agarwal on Monday conducted a meeting with the departmental heads to seek their opinion about reducing the PG seats but the proposal was refuted almost unanimously. The HoDs opined that RIMS was the only institution in the state, which offers PG courses and reduction of seats will only lead to unrest among undergraduate students.

At present the three medical colleges in state- RIMS, Ranchi, Patliputra Medical College, Dhanbad, and MGM Medical College, Jamshedpur, grants 190 MBBS degrees every year against an availability of 86 PG seats.

Talking to TOI, Agrawal said the MCI team during its visits have raised questions over disproportionate teaching staff and student strength. Unless the disparity is settled, the threat of PG courses being de-recognised will continue to loom large.

It is now for the government to decide whether it will reduce the number of PG seats or distribute PG courses to rest of the medical colleges, said Agarwal.

Though the recent visit of MCI team was to review the available infrastructure for undergraduate courses, disparity in teaching staff and students in PG department also violates the MCI guidelines, said the RIMS director.

Expressing concern over the proposed reduction of PG seats, president, Junior Doctors Association (JDA) Abhishek Mundu said, "The number of PG seats have already been reduced to 86 from 150. But if the seats are further reduced, MMBS degree holders from the state will be unable to pursue higher studies".

One of the senior professors on the condition of anonymity said, "The RIMS administration under no circumstances should recommend the government about reducing the number of seats. Presently medical graduates of a particular state are not allowed to join PG courses in other state. In such a situation efforts should be made to increase the seats instead of reducing," he said.

Healthcare pillar shaky at root at RIMS Ranchi

My quest to admit my ailing mother to a proper hospital kept me on my toes, of late. I consulted city hospitals and doctors. The capital, though small in size, has a large number of hospitals.

The biggest among them, Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) with as many as 991 beds, 900 doctors, 650 nurses and the necessary infrastructure such as ultra-sound, X-ray and CT scan facilities.

No other hospital can match the RIMS in terms of its majestic building, the number of qualified doctors and infrastructure. But to my surprise, none of my colleagues, friends and well-wishers, advised me to take my mother to RIMS, a stone?s throw away from my home and would have been most convenient. My well-wishers were unanimous that only the poor, who could not spend money, visit the RIMS. I, too, found several men and women, clad in stained lungis, dhotis and saris queuing before the OPD at RIMS when I visited it one morning. The patients? dress and appearance told a tale of their financial ?status? as my friends told me.

While, the Raj Hospital on the main road, Apollo at Irba, Guru Nanak Hospital, SDA Mission Hospital on the Bariatu Road and Nagar Mal Seva Sadan were among the names that prominently figured in the discussion with friends, as viable options.

I was told that if I really wished well for the woman who brought me to this world I should stay away from RIMS. Eventually, I opted for the SDA Mission Hospital to get my mother?s cataract operated on. This hospital uses the service of the renowned city ophthalmologist, doctor Raj Mohan, who carries out surgeries only two days in a week. Though relatively small, the hospital turned out to have a dedicated team of doctors and nurses, who took care of my mother, at least to my satisfaction.

I wondered what actually had been ailing RIMS, which given its gigantic infrastructure, is supposed to be a pillar of medical support to the city and the rural people.

After all, the majority of the city?s renowned surgeons and physicians carry the tag of serving as professors or retired professors from RIMS. Even the patients, by and large, consider those doctors, who are or were associated with RIMS, as ?qualified?for consultation. In a way, the RIMS?s tag provides doctors with a recognition and name, which makes them more acceptable.
Then what prevents patients, particularly the well-off ones, to avoid RIMS? I heard some of the doctors? and patients? experiences and made a couple of visits to the ?esteemed? institution. The state?s ?premier? medical establishment turned out to be a saga of callousness and ill-treatment of its patients.

If you visit the OPD you will find the doctors absent invariably. Even if you happen to find a doctor, who may suggest a CT scan or blood sugar test, most certainly the technician would be missing from the test centres. If you are a patient you will seldom find doctors and nurses attending you, to administer medicines, or for regular examination.

Stained mattresses, dirty wards, stinking toilets and urinals tell the sordid story of what RIMS actually offers to its patients.

Recently, a road accident victim and college student, Bablu Kumar Mahto (22), died at RIMS. His death drove his friends and relatives to frenzy, and they indulged in vandalism in RIMS campus alleging ?neglect? on the part of the doctors.

The RIMS invariably encounters such ugly scenes.

I wonder why should the Government keep RIMS in its control when it has lost patients? faith despite spending huge amounts on it? Why should it not be handed over to the mission or other private parties who could ensure better education and treatment?

Night brawl puts Rims on boil

Students leave the Rims campus after the institute authorities cancelled all classes and shut down three hostels following clashes between two groups.

Ranchi, July 5: Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (Rims) turned into a battlefield late last night as two groups of students clashed for “supremacy” on the campus. At least six medicos were injured in the clash that continued till early this morning.

Following this, the Rims authorities declared all undergraduate hostels closed sine die. All MBBS classes have been cancelled for an indefinite period.

Eyewitnesses said the immediate provocation was the assault on a student, Anupam Kishore, who was beaten up by a rival group in the evening. Around 11 pm, the two groups clashed.

A student of hostel number 3 said: “I was studying in my room when I heard noises outside. About 100 students had gathered in front of hostel number 1. They were armed with hockey sticks, rods and chains.”

“They entered hostels number 1, 2 and 3 and went on a rampage, damaging property,” said a student of hostel number 3.

Immediately after the clashes broke out, Rims director Alok Kumar Dubey rushed to the spot and tried to control the situation in vain. The students claimed the clashes continued till 4 am. They alleged that though police personnel and Rapid Action Force jawans were present near the gate they did not react.

However, sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Vinay Kumar Sinku said the matter was “resolved” soon with the intervention of the director. “I got a call from senior superintendent of police M.V. Rao at 1 am who told me about the incident and asked me to go there. I rushed to the spot immediately and stayed there till 4 am. But the matter was resolved by the time I reached there,” he claimed.

This morning, the director issued an order, copies of which were pasted in all the three hostels. “In view of the riot and hooliganism of yesterday night in hostels number 1 & 3, all undergraduate classes of MBBS are cancelled till further orders. All residents of hostels number 1, 2 and 3 are ordered to vacate their rooms along with their luggage latest by 2 pm today,” the order said. “The exact date of commencement of classes will be announced through newspapers.”
Rims officer-on-special duty D.K. Jha said the administration has set up an inquiry committee consisting five heads of department — A.K. Verma, S.M. Haider, A.K. Mahto, Tulsi Mahto and Janardan Sharma — to probe into the matter. “The committee has suggested that the matter needs a thorough probe. The report has been submitted to the civil administration,” he said.
Jha said the Rims authorities have taken the issue seriously. “We will not let it happen in future again. Therefore, we have taken this strict action of vacating the hostels. We have given full authority to the civil administration to deal with the situation. We have informed all the senior officials including chief secretary Laxmi Singh, who is also the chairperson of Rims governing body,” Jha added.

No FIR has been lodged by Rims in this connection. Jha said since the civil administration has been given full authority to deal with the situation there was no need to lodge the FIR. However, Kishore, who was beaten up early in the evening, has lodged an FIR with the Bariatu police station.

Of those injured in the clash, three are undergoing treatment at Rims itself. While Ajit and Santosh have been admitted to the neurosurgery ward, Ravi Shankar is being treated in surgery ward.


RIMS dilemma: Who?s the boss?

Ranchi, Aug. 19: Two bosses may get the job done in an easier and a more effective manner, but in Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) such a situation has only given rise to confusions.

At present, the post of a permanent director is vacant and, therefore, the senior-most doctor, Jagannath Prasad, is officiating as the director.

However, about a month back, the government appointed Pooja Singhal, an IAS officer, director (administration).

Singhal is holding meetings with officials, making announcements and visiting other states to ?study? medical colleges and hospitals.

Interestingly, Singhal has occupied the official chamber, meant for the director, while the director sits elsewhere.

According to the RIMS Act, the director is the head of the institution.

Two directors were appointed, but they left the job soon. Since then, no effort has been made to fill up the vacancy at the top. The last permanent director Alok Kumar Dubey quit the job on November 23 last year.

Even after three years of its existence, the government has not been able to find a full-time director.

In the absence of a full-fledged director, Prasad has been holding the charge.

According to the act governing the institution, the RIMS governing body is to give an extension every six months in case of an acting director.

It is the director, and not the director (administration), who represents the institute, as member-secretary, in the RIMS governing body.

Sources said that the post of director (administration) is not new. The post existed earlier too, but remained unnoticed.

It was only after the state government?s appointment of an IAS officer, as administrative chief, that the director?s post has been overshadowed, and the administrative chief started getting more prominence, they added.

?It?s a peculiar situation. As per the act, the director is the head. But now, the director (administration) is doing everything. The director is nowhere. We do not know who is the boss. If the director (administration) is doing everything, then what is the use of a director?? asked a doctor, on condition of anonymity.

By appointing Singhal as the administrative director, the government has only added to the confusion, which was already existing in RIMS due to the absence of a full-fledged director, the doctor further added.

?Instead of adding to the confusion, the RIMS administration should initiate the process to appoint a regular director,? he opined.

According to another doctor, RIMS is under attack from every quarter.

?The special Assembly committee regularly inspects the institute. There has to be a permanent director so that there is stability at the top level. Unless that is done, no reforms can take place in RIMS. It is very difficult to run the institute in an ad hoc manner for a long time,? he added.

Re-appointing N.N. Agrawal as director RIMS Ranchi

Ranchi, Feb. 26:
That is how a doctor of Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) described the course of events of re-appointing N.N. Agrawal its director after a couple of years.

Wing commander (retired) N.N. Agrawal, whose appointment as director of the premier health institute was notified on Saturday, was appointed by the government after a proper interview process two years ago. He assumed the office on February 28, 2004, but stayed only for two days after which he left on a ?long leave?.

The post of director has always remained jinxed in RIMS. After the creation of RIMS on August 15, 2002, the then principal of Rajendra Medical College and Hospital, late K.P. Srivastava, was made the acting director for one month.

Although an advertisement was brought out for the permanent director, the RIMS governing body could not appoint anyone and Srivastava had continued as acting director for 15 months till he died.

Later, following the intervention of the high court, the governing body appointed Agrawal as the director on February 28, 2004. The government later terminated his appointment, as he had not resigned from the defence forces.

Agrawal has always maintained that he was forced to join the institute by senior state government officials quoting the high court order for appointment of a permanent director by February 28, 2004. He had, in fact, challenged the state government?s decision in the high court to remove him from the post.

?This time, we hope that everything will be smooth. Had the government not acted in haste last time, RIMS would not have seen the state of uncertainty for the past two years because of absence of a permanent director,? said a senior RIMS doctor.

After Agrawal?s removal, the RIMS governing body then appointed Alok Kumar Dubey, next man on the panel, as the director.

During Dubey?s stint as director, the institute started showing signs of improvement. Not only was he able to enforce discipline in RIMS, but also he successfully solved the problems of employees, teachers and students. He started an evening out patient department in the hospital to improve patient care.

Dubey, however, also stayed for a few months only and resigned in November 2004. After his resignation, the governing body advertised for the post again as there was no other person in the panel who could be made the next permanent director. As many as 22 persons were shortlisted for the top post this time.

A graduate from the Armed Forces Medical College (Pune), Agrawal possesses many postgraduate degrees. Agrawal, who has been asked to join RIMS by March 10, had served in Armed Forces Hospital, Halwara.


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