Amid an ongoing probe into allegations of procurement of faulty and sub-standard Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) kits by the Government Medical College, Amritsar, the government Wednesday removed its principal Sujata Sharma and her deputy Veena Valecha in “public interest”.
As per the orders issued by the office of principal secretary, medical education and research D K Tiwari, Sharma has been replaced by Dr Rajiv Kumar Devgan, professor in the radiotherapy department as the principal. Valecha has been replaced by Dr Jagdev Singh Kular, professor in anatomy department, as the vice-principal.
According to the document, orders have been issued for the trio due to “administrative reasons and in public interest.”
Meanwhile, chief of the medicine department and Covid-19 ward nodal officer at GMC’s Guru Nanak Dev Hospital, Dr Shiv Charan, has been transferred to Government Medical College, Patiala.
The orders have come days after Deputy Secretary, MPLADS, Raj Krishan Bhoria wrote to the principal secretary of the Punjab State Planning Board citing a “delay” in the probe into the allegations of faulty PPE kit procurement.
The Indian Express in April had reported how doctors at the GMC had been complaining about the unsafe and sub-standard PPE kits. “A total of 2,000 pieces of PPE kits were procured from the fund provided by Lok Sabha MP Gurjeet Singh Aujla and Rajya Sabha MP Shawait Malik. These cost around Rs 44 lakh. PPE kits are of sub-standard material and not safe for staff,” the Punjab Nursing Association had then said.
A was ordered on April 24 after Aujla, who had provided Rs 1 crore to the medical college in the last week of March to fight the coronavirus, wrote to the deputy commissioner (DC) suggesting an investigation into the allegations.
As GMC principal, Sharma had written a letter on May 18 stating that she had found doctors in the isolation ward not wearing PPE kits. Responding to letter, the head of medicine department, Dr Shiv Charan, had accused her of hurting the morale of the staff rather than making efforts to boost it.
Earlier, Aujla had said that he had been getting anonymous complaints about faulty and unfit kits at the GMC and its hospital.
“I had provided Rs one crore to the GMC in last week of March. College had to buy material on its own. I am not an expert of medical field and college has to make the decision on PPE kits…Doctors should have sense of security. If doctors have no sense of security then PPE kits are of no use,” he had told The Indian Express
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