A man invited some relatives home for dinner.
At the table he asked his son to say grace.
“I don’t know what to say,” replied the boy.
“Say what Mommy says” his mother prompted.
The son bowed his head in reverence and said, “God! Why did he invite these people?”
Ambumani Ramadoss, union health minister (importantly, the son of S. Ramadoss), the head of the Patali Makkal Katchi party in Tamil Nadu is upto mischief once again. The health minister’s personal vendetta has drawn the UPA government into fixing the AIIMS director. Coalition politics is showing its ugly face once again. No one at the Centre is raising their voice against such arrogance.
In its relentless targeting of P. Venugopal, director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, the Centre has found a possible solution. The weapon used this time is the AIIMS Amendment Bill 2007, which the minister has pushed through in both Houses of Parliament. The Bill sets the age limit for the director at 65 or limits him to five years in office. When the President clears the bill, the eminent cardio-thoracic surgeon, who will be 66, will lose his post. The bill also provides for the removal of future directors of AIIMS with three months notice. It seems that the Minister has no other issues relating to the public health system to take care of. He is obsessed with wresting control of AIIMS.
Earlier in July the governing body of AIIMS sacked Dr Venugopal. An ‘extraordinary meeting’ of the governing body of the institute was called by Ramadoss, who is also president of AIIMS, as a means of removing Dr Venugopal. According to the AIIMS Act, 1956, the body can remove the director ‘in public interest’ (the concerned public here is our dear Dr Ramdoss). Editorial in a newspaper said- ‘The wrong doctor sacked. It’s Ramadoss who needs to be thrown out.’ The Delhi High Court stepped in to stay his dismissal and Dr P Venugopal won the first round in his fight with Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss.
Does the minister realise that after political interference like this, there will be little incentive left for doctors to work in the public health system, even in urban areas. Anybody who had the misfortune of visiting a govt hospital can see the abysmal working conditions. If you are not a heavyweight (a minister, bureaucrat or his kin) getting treated in a government hospital is a nightmare. The patient may have a choice but the doctors don’t. The salaries are a lot less than of the doctors of private hospitals. Due to this lots of doctors are leaving govt hospitsls to join private hospitals. When this is the state of affairs of the urban hospitals, all talk of attracting doctors to work in the rural health system is useless where political interference occurs on a day to day basis.
We talk of medical tourism and the capabilities of our medicos. If this is the approach of our policy makers how do we expect the doctors to stay in India and work for the well being of our people?
The light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off due to budget cuts.
- Rome did not create a great empire by having meetings, they did it by killing all those who opposed them.
- A person who smiles in the face of adversity… probably has a scapegoat.
- Abandon all hope, ye who enter here!
- We make great money! We have great benefits! We do no work! We are union members!
- Never quit until you have another job.
- If you can read this, you’re not working!- Pride, commitment, teamwork – words we use to get you to work for free.
- There are two kinds of people in life: people who like their jobs, and people who don’t work here anymore.
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