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Dr Raj Bahadur: a man often in the eye of storm

Dr Raj Bahadur (71) was the vice-chancellor of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS).

Dr Raj Bahadur was appointed V-C on December 23, 2014, during the SAD-BJP tenure. His tenure was for three years. However, in December 2017 during the Congress rule, he got a three-year extension.

Dr Raj Bahadur, vice-chancellor of Baba Farid University and Health Sciences (BFUHS), resigned on July 29 evening. Raakhi Jagga finds out who is Dr Raj Bahadur and what are the controversies involved in his career.

Who is Dr Raj Bahadur?

Dr Raj Bahadur (71) was the vice-chancellor of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS).

He was appointed V-C on December 23, 2014, during the SAD-BJP tenure. His tenure was for three years. However, in December 2017 during the Congress rule, he got a three-year extension.

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In December 2020 the Congress government again extended his term till December 2023. His continuous extension as V-C was questioned by many. In protest against the extension, a number of dharnas had been staged by NGOs and general public outside Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital (GGSMCH), Faridkot, which is a constituent body of BFUHS.

When did Dr Raj Bahadur resign and why?

Dr Raj Bahadur submitted his resignation to Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann late on Friday, hours after state Health Minister Chetan Singh Jouramajra forced him to lie down on a dirty mattress in front of staff and patients in the skin and VD department of GGSMCH during an inspection by the minister.

A few mattresses in that ward had fungal growth and were sagging. Looking at the poor condition of the ward, the minister got furious and told the V-C to lie down on the bed in front of patients and other staff.
Hours after the incident, the V-C resigned and said that he was humiliated despite the fact that the hospital management was the prerogative of medical superintendent of the hospital.

How did Dr Raj Bahadur start his journey?

Dr Raj Bahadur did his MBBS from Shimla and MS from Banaras Hindu University. He started his career as a house surgeon in Himachal Pradesh Medical College and Snowden Hospital in 1976. During his service he served as registrar of orthopaedic medical college and hospital, Rohtak.

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He worked at the Institute of Medical Sciences, Varansi, which comes under Banaras Hindu University as junior resident, as assistant professor at Jawaharlal Institute Of Postgraduate Medical Education And Research (JIPMER), Puducherry. He also worked in Safdarjung Hospital, Maulana Azad Medical College, PGIMER Chandigarh at senior positions.

Apart from being a reputed surgeon, Bahadur has experience of more than 45 years as a teacher, researcher and administrator. Specialising in general orthopaedics surgery, orthopaedic education, spinal surgery and joint replacement, he was the former director-principal of the Govt Medical College and Hospital in Chandigarh and former head of Department of Orthopaedics at PGIMER, Chandigarh.

What is specialisation of Dr Raj Bahadur?

According to the 32-page CV of Dr Bahadur, he is a specialist in General Orthopedics Surgery, Orthopedic Education, Spinal surgery and Joint Replacement.

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He has done more than 11,500 spinal surgeries in about 19 years at GMCH and PGI, Chandigarh and 1,800 at Regional Spinal Institute Centre (RSIC), Mohali, and 1,381 at Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital, Faridkot, and Civil Hospital Jalalabad.

Controversies around the VC

He was in thick of controversies due to his continuous extension as V-C of BFUHS since December 2014. During his tenure many employees had been given reemployment after their retirement.

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A protest in this context is being organised by staff of GGSMCH and few other institutions these days in Faridkot. They are demanding new jobs for medical professionals. Many NGOs have complained repeatedly about lack of infrastructure inside GGSMCH.

In April this year NGO Bhai Ghaniya Cancer Roko Society had even met the then health minister, Dr Vijay Singla, and demanded proper facilities at hospital. They had also demanded vigilance inquiry in the recent recruitments done by V-C in nursing department.

First published on: 31-07-2022 at 02:27:40 am
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