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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.


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