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RIMS director trashes charges

Ranchi, Sept. 5: Director of the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), N.N. Agarwal challenged state health secretary Pradeep Kumar’s decision to serve a showcause notice to him.

Agarwal spoke to The Telegraph a day after the health secretary slapped a showcause notice on him for the death of a poor patient. The director was accused of driving the patient out of the RIMS premises.

The director said only the chairman of the RIMS governing body, who happens to be the state health minister, can issue a showcause notice. “The state health secretary only has the right to vote during elections of the RIMS governing body,” Agarwal said.

The director, however, added that he was ready to respond to the notice within the three-day deadline. He rubbished all the charges against him, and said he has always worked in RIMS’s interest.

Kumar, while issuing the showcause notice, also sought educational and other certificates from Agarwal for verification and asked him about the circumstances under which a lady doctor, Karuna Jha, was removed from the institute without prior approval from the state government.

Kumar has also charged Agarwal of withdrawing excess salary.

The director, to prove the authenticity of his postgraduate degree, presented a letter of Medical Council of India secretary A.R.N. Setalvad issued after the verification of his certificates in June this year.

To justify Jha’s removal from the institute, Agarwal said, the decision was taken after an approval from the RIMS governing body.

While reacting to the allegation of withdrawing of excess salary, Agarwal said, everything was being done under “service conditions”.

“The poor patient is being used as a ploy to target me. I have never been inhuman with any patient,” he said.

But the director admitted that he wanted to inform the police, as the patient was mentally incoherent and would roam on ground floor without permission.

“If I would have left the patient unattended, he would have fled from RIMS and then I would have been accused of poor security arrangement,” Agarwal said.

A poor patient, who was allegedly driven out of RIMS on Wednesday, died on Thursday.

The matter was communicated to health secretary Pradeep Kumar, who sent his officer on special duty, S.K. Chouhdary to conduct a probe. After the confirmation of fact, Kumar took strong exception to the incident and issued a showcause notice.

Agarwal said the entire development was a conspiracy against him. Kumar was not available for his comment.

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