A team sent by the DC had found 22 doctors absent on June 14
Anantnag: The Principal of the Government Medical College (GMC) Anantnag has said that the Anantnag Deputy Commissioner (DC) acted “hastily and irresponsibly” and “in a puerile manner” over a “petty” complaint regarding the working of the hospital.
The principal, Dr Showkat Jeelani, has mentioned this in a scathing letter, number GMCA:P/Dean/2021/4286, addressed to Financial Commissioner Health and Medical Education Department, Atal Duloo.
“District administration in puerile manner, acting hastily and irresponsibly… They murdered the service ethics yesterday when on a petty complaint the DC Anantnag sent a team to the hospital, who did not even bother to give a courtesy call before rushing to the hospital,” Jeelani has written in the letter.
The principal shot this letter a day after DC Anantnag, Piyush Singla, sent a team to the hospital for fact checking. The team found 22 doctors absent from their duties.
Singla sent the list of absent doctors to the Chief Secretary on June 14, under letter number DCA/PA/2021/1939-40. Additional Deputy Commissioner, Medical Superintendent of the GMC and Tehsildar Anantnag comprised the inspection team.
A list of absent doctors was also enclosed with the letter.
An infuriated GMC principal rued the disregard of hierarchy, norms and protocols in his letter to Dulloo. He did not explain the absence of the doctors from duty.
“This is an institution which has direct public dealing. It has its limitations but discrediting the chair is very perturbing,” the letter by Jeelani reads. “Yesterday’s action was a threshold which has sent chilling signals down the line. This action by the administration has an apocalyptic effect for any administrative setup in future. I felt let down yesterday for the first time in my career.”
“Kindly treat this as a distress call and kindly ensure measures to rectify the procedure and formalities,” Jeelani has written.
Additional Deputy Commissioner Anantnag Ghulam Hassan Sheikh told Kashmir Reader that he had nothing to do with what the Principal has written. “We had a job at hand and we did that. What he has written now is none of my concern,” he added.
On Wednesday, the Medical Faculty Forum (MFF) of the GMC has also launched a scathing attack on the district administration, through a press release, released in apparent solidarity with the principal. The MFF called DC Anantnag’s action an intimidation to the senior faculty members of the GMC.
“GMC Anantnag is an institution headed by Principal/Dean who is of the rank of secretary to the government. The district administration has been bypassing the chair to intimidate the senior most faculty, who have been now thinking of leaving the college for better options,” the press release, (number MFF/GMCA/2021-22/02), reads.
The MFF, in its press release, has called the district administration arrogant.
“The arrogance has touched new heights. The administration informed the press and the PMC that the Ophthalmology department was closed. They did not even bother to know that the department works from the old building and 35 patients were provided consultation there, despite the closure of OPDs,” it said.
It says that a robust roster system was in place at the hospital but the team straightaway barged into offices and seized attendance registers.
The general public, meanwhile, laments the fact that the administration and the GMC officials are engaged in an almost public duel, while the pandemic is still raging.
“How do we trust the GMC people or the district administration? They are involved in this unnecessary tussle while the pandemic still rages. Is there no other system to put the house in order?” a patient at the hospital that Kashmir Reader talked to said.
The Government Medical College (GMC) Anantnag has been in news for all the wrong reasons. Shortage of oxygen, high mortality rate, callousness of doctors, and the principal of the college lying about the number of ICU beds at the hospital to LG Manoj Sinha are among the news headlines that the GMC has been making.
This recent development (real or perceived), the absence of doctors in particular, has brought down public trust in these government institutions. And all this while the second wave of Covid is yet to subside completely.