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RIMS director sacked

A day after junior doctors clashed with relatives of patients and disrupted medical services at the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (Rims), the state health and family welfare department removed Rims director Dr Tulsi Mahto from his post on Wednesday. Rims superintendent Dr S K Choudhary was appointed as the interim director.

State health and welfare department joint secretary B K Mishra said Mahto was removed after a petition was filed against him in the high court challenging his stay at the post beyond the upper-age limit of 60 years. "The upper-age limit for a director is 60 years and Mahto, who was serving an extension, has already crossed 60. A petition was filed with the high court by an anonymous person a few months ago and is due for hearing," Mishra said.

Mahto had completed his tenure as Rims director in December 2013 and was serving a two-year extension that was, however, cut short on Wednesday. Though removed, he will continue to serve as the head of the department of forensic medicine.
 
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 While Mishra cited the petition as the reason for Mahto's removal, sources at the department cited his poor performance as the reason for his ouster. Rims has been in the news for all the wrong reasons, right from frail infrastructure, lack of basic medical amenities to junior doctors beating up relatives of patients twice in the past 48 hours. "The health department was monitoring the day-to-day functioning of the medical college and hospital," said an official, requesting anonymity.

Mahto declined to comment on the matter, but said he was happy with his performance. "The super specialty block started functioning under my tenure. Seats for the PG courses were increased and a host of other initiatives were taken to improve the academic and medical infrastructure during my tenure. Most importantly, the faith of patients on Rims was restored during this time," Mahto said.

On the contrary, the new interim director said improving the quality of medical assistance will be his top priority. "We will work to improve the quality of medical assistance and set the work culture in order," Choudhary added.

Meanwhile, the junior doctors, who had gone on a strike on Tuesday demanding the arrest of a patient's kin who had allegedly beaten up a junior doctor at the gynaecology department on Monday night, went to work following her arrest on Wednesday.

However, students demanded tighter security from the director to avoid being harassed by the patient's relatives. The students demanded additional deployment of security guards outside labor rooms and operation theatres and sought the prohibition of male relatives to enter the labour wards. "Doctors are being harassed on a daily basis and the authorities must guarantee our safety," said Rajeev Ranjan, a junior doctor at Rims. source-timesofindia.indiatimes.com - May 29, 2014

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