New digs & paralysing strikes

The year 2012 was a full of ups and downs as far as the hospitals in the city are concerned in terms of upgradation of healthcare facilities, new infrastructure and of course, the hospitals had their share of controversies as well.

For the first time in the history of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), the year had three major strikes thus paralysing the work at the region's premier tertiary care institute. The strike by resident doctors which was triggered by an alleged scuffle between a resident doctor and an OT technician saw the institute's administration bowing down to the pressure of the doctors over 1000 in number when the OT technician, who had allegedly manhandled a doctor on duty over shifting of a patient, was placed under suspension.

There was also a strike by the nursing staff and the staff on contract for their long pending demands which also led to considerable harassment of the patients and their attendants.

Perhaps the one of the biggest blow to the institute's reputation this year was the death of a teenager Anupama in July due to callousness of the doctors in realizing the seriousness of her injuries, a fact which has recently been testified by an external probe committee constituted to look in to the lapses.

Worst was yet to come! It came in the form of a cheating scam during the recent entrance exam for admission to MD/MS Courses, which brought to light the casual handling of the most prestigious exam by the institute when it was found that seven female dummy candidates had made their way inside the exam centres with sophisticated gadgets such as button hole cameras, Bluetooth devices etc stitched to their clothes. Following the racket which was busted by the CBI that led to the arrest of 17 persons involved in large scale copying and leaking of question papers of other prestigious institutes as well, the exam had to be cancelled.

Later the exam was held with PGIMER authorities leaving no stones unturned in ensuring that there was no repeat of the past and thus even the tiniest piece of jewellery was banned during the rescheduled exam which went off peacefully.

Very recently, PGIMER was forced to cancel the tenders for the allocation of chemist shops at the hospital after allegations were leveled that chemist lobby had formed cartels to bring down the rates of these shops which usually are auctioned for a hefty price. This also brought to light that how despite being a global name in the field of medicine, PGI is still following the archaic ways of auctioning in an era of e-tendering.

Even the other hospitals in the city had their fair share of controversies with both GMCH 32 and the GMSH 16 marred by strikes by contractual staff every now and then forcing the authorities to think of a permanent solution.

The battle for the coveted post of the director principle of GMCH 32 is on and two sections are fighting it out in the CAT to know the legitimate criteria for the selection of the director principal of the city's lone medical college.

On the other hand while the GMSH 16 finally started 9 OPD of various departments in the new OPD block, the block is still marred by architectural flaws and many missing fire safety norms.

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