JAMMU: Operationalisation of the ‘defunct’ endoscopy unit in Government Medical College Hospital here has unfolded gruesome truth how political executives, in league with unscrupulous doctors, kept playing with the lives of ailing public in pursuit of making money. Closed six months ago, the revived unit has been instrumental in carrying out 54 tests during the past four, accounting for around 15 tests a day.
A senior GMC Technician told STATE TIMES that at least 15 tests were carried each day, under the supervision of Dr Vijayant Chandel thus saving the poor patients of Rs 2,000 to 3,000 each in the private laboratories.
The unit, re-launched last week, had been closed around six months ago, as the Hospital Management had declared it defunct. However, facts turned out contrary to the claims made Dr Showkat Choudhry, a Lecturer, who got the gastroenterology unit closed in the GMC and shifted to Super Specialty after ‘getting himself elevated as Assistant Professor by superseding five seniors. Dr Choudhry is reported to have enjoyed ‘good rapport’ with the then Minister for Health and Medical Education Taj Mohi-ud-Din.
While ‘dedicating’ the re-launched endoscopy unit, the current Minister for Health and Medical Education Ch Lal Singh is on record having stated that the facility has been deliberately described as defunct by Dr Choudhry to ‘force patients go for these tests in a private lab, where he had been practicing.
Sources told STATE TIMES that referral of patients to private labs did not only prove as a money minting avocation for the ‘unscrupulous doctor’ but heading this unit in the Super Specialty also helped him to get recognition as an ‘ace gastroenterologist’ of Jammu. “It was a two way traffic, which benefitted Dr Choudhry and his godfathers”, they alleged.
According to sources, Dr Chandel, who headed the unit in GMC prior to its shifting, was posted in General Medicine Department.
Dr Showkat Choudhry has been since demoted to his earlier position of Lecturer but no disciplinary action initiated against him so far. The Health Minister is reported to be sitting on the case due to pressure mounted by his former colleague in Congress. Ch Lal Singh had joined BJP last year, after being denied mandate for Lok Sabha elections by Congress.
During his posting in Super Specialty, Dr Choudhry had pestered the then Health Minister to get his promotion regularized by the Public Service Commission, which, however, declined to oblige, given his ranking at number six in the seniority. The promotion of Dr Showkat Choudhry was stayed by the court in July last on the petition by filed by Dr Vijyant Chandel. However, enjoying the patronage of the Minister, Dr Choudhry continued to function as Assistant Professor.
The vocal doctors of the GMC have urged the Health Minister to take stern action against Dr Choudhry and initiate probe for fixing responsibility of those instrumental in closing down the endoscopy unit. They have threatened of resorting to agitation, and simultaneously meeting Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayed, in case no action was initiated. The agitated and aggrieved doctors has also sought probe into the role of the then Health Minister Taj Mohi-ud-Din by an independent agency.
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