By Special Correspondent
New Delhi: Healthcare professional and activists pan-India body, Progressive Medicos and Scientists Forum (PMSF) on Friday condemned sacking of Dr Piyush Pushkar Singh by North Delhi Municipal Corporation from its Bara Hindu Rao hospital for distributing the PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) to people who were allegedly not in need.
PMSF said the pretext taken by the North Corporation Commissioner Varsha Joshi, for the termination of Dr Piyush’s services was highly condemnable. Dr Piyush was pursuing post-graduate studies in orthopedics department of the hospital.
It is alleged that Dr Piyush diverted the PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and gave it to persons not requiring it, without the knowledge or permission of the medical superintendent of Hindu Rao hospital.
The Commissioner is reported to have asserted, “He cannot decide priority of requirements. This was the immediate and essential reason for his termination.” The concerned IAS officer Varsha Joshi also tweeted that she is an employer and that she cannot tolerate such behavior on part of an employee. The civic body is controlled by the BJP.
Defending Dr Piyush, PMSF, national president. Dr Harjit Singh Bhatti said he distributed the PPEs in good faith among his colleagues who had been caring for the patients expositing themselves to undue risk.
An acute shortage of PPE has been well known by now, and has also been highlighted by several RDAs (Resident Doctors Associations) in the country. With the cooperation of RDA at AIIMS, Dr Piyush had arranged for a limited supply of PPE through the aegis of Dr Monika Foundation on his own initiative. Dr Bhattt noted that it was indeed remarkable deed in times of such acute health emergency in the country.
However, this high nosed IAS officer continues to suffer from such colonial hangover as to consider publically funded institutions as her personal fiefdom and act in a manner antithetical to the delivery of health services, he added.
“Even as the Prime Minister has made a show of thanking the ‘corona warriors’, the Commissioner of the municipal corporation run by his own party is running down the efforts of doctors in a patently vindictive manner.”
It is said that the actual reason for Dr Piyush’s termination, as revealed by a show cause notice dated 16 March 2020, issued to him by the Hindu Rao hospital administration is that he had posted a video of the orthopedic emergency ward on his Facebook page on the 14 of March. The video had shown seepage into the ward, which had existed for many days without redress. It need be no mystery that the conditions of maintenance in publically funded hospitals in the country, as also in Delhi are abominable and injurious to the health of the patients due to niggardly public expenditure on health. Health bureaucracy cannot but be fully aware of such conditions and ought to be mindful of improving these, especially if any public-spirited individual brings them to public notice.
Instead, victim blaming and seemingly self-righteous behavior under the veil of colonial era rules and regulations has become their wont. PMSF demanded that Dr Piyush Pushkar Singh should be reinstated forthwith without any adverse consequences to his service record.
It also demanded that an enquiry be instituted into the circumstances of action taken by the Commissioner of North Delhi Municipal Corporation and responsibility be fixed for the same.
Meanwhile, main opposition Congress has also taken the note of Dr Piyush sacking. While raising the safety issue of healthcare personnel, Party spokesperson Ajay Maken said the Delhi government has failed to provide them protective equipments in adequate numbers. Demanding the revocation of Dr Piyush’s termination, he said as many as 55 health care professionals have been infected in Delhi which is the highest in the country.