Updated: April 17, 2020 11:54:05 am
The North Corporation-run Hindu Rao Hospital Thursday terminated the service of a doctor for allegedly “diverting” medical equipment. The doctor, Piyush Pushkar Singh, a student in the orthopaedics department, however, alleged he was asked to leave because he had highlighted lapses and wrongdoings, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The order issued by the administration read: “Piyush Pushkar Singh, DNB student in the orthopaedics department in Hindu Rao Hospital, is terminated with immediate effect for bringing disrepute to the institute.”
Singh claimed he had distributed PPE kits and face shields to doctors after procuring them from an NGO. He is also a member of the hospital’s Resident Doctors’ Association (RDA).
When contacted, North Corporation Commissioner Varsha Joshi told The Indian Express: “All material donated was to go to the medical superintendent. We have maintained a very transparent account of each donated item. He didn’t just divert the material but also unauthorisedly distributed it to persons who don’t need it. He cannot decide priority of requirements. This was the immediate and essential reason for his termination.”
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Singh was earlier issued a showcause notice after he uploaded a video shot inside the hospital purportedly showing leakage in the ceiling. He was asked to explain why he uploaded the video on Facebook, bypassing “available channels”.
Mayor Avtar Singh said the action was taken as he would “constantly post things on social media against the Hindu Rao establishment”. “You cannot keep doing this against your employer,” he said.
Some doctors at the hospital have been at loggerheads with the administration over the past few months over infrastructure-related issues, salaries and, of late, the quality and availability of PPE kits.
Singh, meanwhile, said he will go to court as he has been falsely accused of diverting material. “I was the one who arranged the face shields after speaking to an NGO. We don’t risk our lives daily to be treated like this. No enquiry was set up to probe the allegations,” he said.
Standing committee head of the North Corporation, Jai Prakash, said an enquiry panel should have been set up if there is wrongdoing: “I will ensure justice is done by getting an inquiry committee constituted.”
Dr Srinivas Rajkumar T, general secretary of the AIIMS RDA, said, “Hindu Rao Hospital administration should exercise restraint, sort the issue internally and address genuine concerns of a representative of the resident body.”
“This validates our apprehensions in the letter to the PM over the career and other prospects of those raising voices for doctors. A pandemic is not grounds to violate rights of individuals, more importantly, of healthcare workers,” he said.
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