Damaged mattress row: V-C of Baba Farid University of

Dr Raj Bahadur, the vice-chancellor of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS) in Punjab’s Faridkot district, submitted his resignation to the chief minister’s office late on Friday night, hours after state Health Minister Chetan Singh Jouramajra forced him to lie down on a damaged mattress in front of staff and patients at a hospital during an inspection, health department sources said. Two other doctors also put in their papers, requesting that they be relieved of their charge as principal-director and medical superintendent, respectively.

Though the vice-chancellor himself did not confirm his resignation, highly placed sources in the health department confirmed the same. The resignation was reportedly sent via an email late on Friday night .

Dr Rajiv Devgan and Dr K D Singh, also resigned from their posts as principal-director of Government Medical College, Amritsar and medical superintendent of Guru Nanak Dev Hospital, which is associated with Government Medical College, Amritsar, respectively, citing personal reasons. Both sent their resignation letters on Friday, following the incident at Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital (GGSMCH) in Faridkot.

Dr Singh is a professor of microbiology at Government Medical College, Amritsar, and had been given additional charge as medical superintendent. In his letter submitted to the principal secretary, Directorate of Research and Medical Education, Dr Singh has asked to be relieved from this additional charge.

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Similarly, Dr Devgan is a radiotherapist. he's asked to be relieved from the charges of director-principal, saying that he's the only senior faculty/cancer specialist in the oncology department and wants to devote more time for the treatment of cancer patients.

O P Chaudhary, the secretary to V-C Dr Raj Bahadur, has also resigned.

The incident at Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital (GGSMCH) in Faridkot on Friday afternoon drew widespread condemnation from all corners, including the Indian Medical Association (IMA), which said it was “humiliating” for a person of the stature of the vice-chancellor of a medical university.

The incident took place in the Skin and VD Department of GGSMCH when the minister came on an inspection visit.

Even though Dr Bahadur mentioned that hospital management was the prerogative of the medical superintendent, minister Jouramajra made him lie on the mattress, which was damaged and even had fungal growth, as shown by the minister’s supporters in a video that's since gone viral.

Despite repeated attempts, Jouramajra couldn't be reached for comments.

Apart from being a reputed orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Bahadur has experience of more than 45 years as a teacher, researcher and administrator. Specialising in general orthopaedics surgery, orthopaedic education, spinal surgery and joint replacement, he's the former director-principal of the Govt Medical College and Hospital in Chandigarh and ex-head of Department of Orthopaedics at PGIMER, Chandigarh.

He started his first job as house surgeon in Himachal Pradesh Medical College and Snowdon hospital, Shimla in 1976 . During his career, he worked across the country i.e Banaras, Puducherry, Safdarjung Medical College, Maulana Azad Medical College, PGIMER, Chandigarh etc before being appointed as vice-chancellor on December 23, 2014.

Though he's 71 years’ old, he's been getting repeated extensions as vice-chancellor, resulting in a controversy. The last extension was in December 2020. Three years.

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