WHILE THE neurosurgeon wanted in connection with the Audi hit-and-run is still at large, patients at Safdarjung Hospital, where he works, continue to wait for surgeries and consultations even as hospital staff claim he is on “leave”.
Dr Manish Rawat has been missing since January 28 — when the Audi owned by him hit an autorickshaw in Ghaziabad’s Indirapuram, killing four people on the spot. Police are yet to verify the identity of the car’s driver, and ascertain if there were any other occupants. Neetu Kumari (22), who suffers from a congenital neurological disorder which worsened over the last two months, was admitted to Safdarjung Hospital’s neurotrauma ward last month. Rawat was scheduled to operate on her on January 31. Hospital staff have now postponed the surgery indefinitely.
“They told us Dr Rawat had gone on leave and the surgery has been postponed. Now they have told us the doctor might be back by Monday, so we are waiting,” Ashutosh, Neetu’s brother, said.
Senior hospital officials said they have received no official intimation from Rawat.
“When a patient comes in to the hospital, he is under the care of the neurology department and not under a specific doctor. According to the daily roster drawn up here, a doctor is assigned to a patient. Since Dr Rawat has not been reporting to duty for over a week now, we have redrawn the roster. All surgeries and follow-up patients have been assigned to other doctors,” a senior doctor said.
Staff and colleagues at the neurology department remained tight-lipped about Rawat’s disappearance.
While one doctor called him “approachable”, another said, “It has only been four months since he joined so we have not interacted much.”
A compounder at the emergency ward said, “We still do not know if Dr Rawat was indeed driving the car. But if he was, it is sad he fled without helping the victims.” People The Indian Express spoke to said they had no idea Rawat, who has worked in Bareilly for three years, owned an Audi.