IMA condemns Punjab health minister for forcing BFUHS VC to lie on dirty mattress

Baba Farid University Vice-Chancellor Dr Raj Bahadur resigned after being forced to lie on dirty mattress.

BFUHS VC attending patients (Source: Official Twitter Account of Punjab Lok Congress spokesperson)BFUHS VC attending patients (Source: Official Twitter Account of Punjab Lok Congress spokesperson)

Press Trust of India | July 30, 2022 | 04:51 PM IST

NEW DELHI: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Saturday condemned Punjab Health Minister Chetan Singh Jouramajra for forcing the vice chancellor of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences to lie on a dirty mattress at a hospital during an inspection. The IMA has demanded the minister's unconditional apology and resignation for his "misbehavior" and appealed to Punjab's chief minister to immediately take necessary action against him. "IMA strongly condemns the derogatory action by the Punjab Health Minister who humiliated Dr Raj Bahadur, Vice Chancellor of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences on July 29. It is not only humiliation for the vice chancellor but the entire medical fraternity across India has been insulted," the doctors' body said in a statement.

Bahadur has been learnt to have resigned and requested the Punjab chief minister to relieve him from services. "There have been similar incidents causing humiliation and harassment to the medical community by many politicians. It causes anguish amongst the doctors. "IMA demands immediate unconditional apology and resignation from the health minister for his misbehavior. IMA appeals to the chief minister of Punjab to immediately intervene and take necessary action against the minister," the association said.

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The incident happened Friday when Jouramajra was on an inspection of Faridkot's Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital, which comes under Baba Farid University of Health Sciences. A video clip of the incident that circulated on the social media showed Jouramajra place a hand on the veteran surgeon's shoulder as he pointed towards the "damaged and dirty condition" of the mattress inside the hospital's skin department. The minister is then seen to be allegedly forcing Dr Bahadur to lie down on the same mattress. Bahadur in the video is seen explaining to the minister that he was not responsible for the facilities, to which the AAP leader retorted “everything is in your hands.”

After the incident, Bahadur reportedly told Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann that that kind of atmosphere was not conducive for his work, and requested him to relieve him of his duties. Bahadur, 71, who has an experience of over four decades having worked at various reputed health institutions too, told PTI over phone on Saturday that he felt humiliated after the minister's behaviour with him. Asked if he had resigned as the vice chancellor, Bahadur said, “I have expressed my anguish to the chief minister and said I felt humiliated.” Sources said that the chief minister has taken a strong view of the incident and spoken to Jouramajra. Mann is also learnt to have asked Bahadur to meet him next week.

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