Thursday, August 11, 2022

Uproar after Punjab minister humiliates medical college V-C

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Punjab Saturday defended Health Minister Chetan Singh Jouramajra — who’s currently at the centre of a controversy for forcing the vice-chancellor of a medical college in Faridkot to lie on a patient’s bed — saying that his “intentions were clean”. However, the ruling party described the incident as “unfortunate”.
Jouramajra has been facing criticism from political opponents and the medical fraternity for forcing Dr. Raj Bahadur of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences to lie on a patient’s bed after holding him responsible for its poor state.
Dr. Bahadur, a noted spinal surgeon, reportedly sent his resignation to the government.
“We respect the concerned official as a medical professional. There’s no doubt about that. But we should also consider the condition of the hospital bed, which was visible in the videos that surfaced later, and think who’s responsible for it. It was an unfortunate incident. It should not have happened,” Malvinder Kang, AAP’s chief spokesperson for Punjab, said at a press conference Saturday.
He further said: “However, the health minister’s intentions were clean. His only objective is to upgrade health facilities and provide better facilities to the people of Punjab. So, it should not be politicised.”
On being asked about Dr. Bahadur’s resignation and the Punjab unit of the Indian Medical Association asking Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann to direct his minister to apologise, Kang said: “Resignations and apology [are not] solutions. At the end of the day, a large number of the poor visit government hospitals and the quality of service in these facilities is concerning. We need to focus on improving the quality of service”.
Opposition parties Congress, the Shiromani Akali Dal, and the Bharatiya Janata Party have called the incident “shameful” and demanded action against the minister.
Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief Amarinder Singh Raja Warring said in a tweet Saturday that he had visited the doctor after the incident.
“I couldn’t see eye to eye with Dr Raj Bahadur Ji, as there was helplessness in his eyes. It was not he who felt insulted and humiliated, but all of us together. Entire Punjab stands in solidarity with you, Sir,” Warring’s tweet said.
On being asked about the criticism, Kang said: “If there’s someone to blame for the poor state of affairs in Punjab’s healthcare, it’s the previous Congress and Akali governments. Their tenures were marked with rampant corruption, scandals, and scams.”
On Friday, AAP leader and Punjab Assembly Speaker Kultar Singh Sandhwan reportedly said: “It was an unfortunate incident. We all are part of this system and should work as a team to improve the situation, which has been gradually rotting for the past many years.”
Chief Minister Mann is yet to comment on the issue.


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