Banwari issue: doc suspended

He is a graduate of Science from Agra University. Enough,to get him a job of dignity,Banwari Lal had thought when he came to Delhi three years ago.

Written by Vidya Krishnan | New Delhi | Published: March 11, 2009 12:18 am

He is a graduate of Science from Agra University. Enough,to get him a job of dignity,Banwari Lal had thought when he came to Delhi three years ago.

He did get a job,and that too at the country’s premier medical institute AIIMS — as a sweeper in the on-campus Sulabh Shauchalay. But problem erupted when Banwari Lal’s enthusiasm for learning took him through the hospital’s hallowed portals — its operation theatres — albeit,unjustifiably.

Banwari Lal is the reason why the Union Health Ministry on Tuesday suspended with immediate effect a senior doctor and a laboratory technician in the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). Associate Professor in the Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery (CTVS) Dr A K Bisoi and the department’s senior perfusionist Yogender Singh Chauhan have been accused of putting this former restroom attendant in the cardiothoracic surgery team — an act the ministry describes as a “criminal offence”.

Dr Bisoi taught him how to operate the heart-lung machine,the job of a perfusionist. He is also facing suspension for issuing Lal a ‘job experience’ certificate which got him work in GB Pant Hospital’s cardiothoracic surgery department.

Lal was perturbed when told about the suspensions. “I do not have the money to become a certified perfusionist,though I do intend to save and study,” Lal told Newsline from his Sultanpuri home.

Lal added: “I was paid Rs 3,000 a month and was hired on contract by Sulabh. Since I showed interest in learning more,doctors — especially Dr Bisoi — helped me.” His salary was frozen ever since authorities learnt that an inquiry had been initiated on the certificate issued by Dr Bisoi.

Down with a spinal injury,Lal is on medical leave for over a month. He is being treated for a prolapsed disc in the Department of Neurosurgery,GB Pant Hospital,and will undergo operation on March 18.

Lal was involved in at least two surgeries every day,he said. “My seniors were satisfied with my work.” He also said that interviewers at GB Pant Hospital did not ask about his education but only wanted to see an “experience” certificate.

Lal hopes to be a properly qualified perfusionist one day. “I didn’t know getting a certificate would land people in trouble,specially those who have helped me,” he said.

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