Punjab’s AAP govt under attack after state health minister humiliates BFUHS VC Dr Raj Bahadur; VC resigns

Dr Bahadur resigned hours after the incident. Two more senior doctors of Amritsar put in their papers over the 'unruly' behaviour of Punjab Health Minister Chetan Singh Jauramajra

Punjab’s AAP govt under attack after state health minister humiliates BFUHS VC Dr Raj Bahadur; VC resigns

Bipin Bhardwaj

The health minister of AAP-led Punjab government on Friday, reportedly misbehaved and publicly humiliated world renowned spine surgeon Dr Raj Bahadur, Vice Chancellor (VC) of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS), Faridkot, at Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital, Faridkot.

Hours after being “humiliated publicly” by the Health Minister, Dr Raj Bahadur put in his papers and sent it to the Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Singh Mann.

The state health minister Chetan Singh Jauramajra forcibly made Dr Raj Bahadur lie on an unhygienic and damaged bed-mattress in front of the hospital staff, patients and a couple of his supporters. A video of the incident went viral in which the minister can be heard speaking rudely with the Vice-Chancellor over the lack of cleanliness in the medical college.

Expressing their resentment against the minister's misbehaviour, two other senior officers comprising Dr Rajiv Devgan Principal of Government Medical College, Amritsar, Dr KD Singh, Medical superintendent of Gurunanak Hospital, Amritsar, besides OP Chaudhary, secretary to vice-chancellor, have also submitted their resignations.

The behaviour of the state health minister has not only raised serious doubts on the functioning of the AAP led Punjab government but also on the competence and capability of CM Bhagwant Mann’s cabinet colleagues to handle their portfolios.

This is not the first such incident related to the state health minister Chetan Singh Jouramajra. Recently, he, along with his security guards and some AAP workers, throwing norm to winds, had barged into the labour room of Government Hospital, Fatehgarh Sahib, endangering lives of scores of women and infants. The health minister and his supporters also entered the Operation Theater of the hospital wearing shoes, which is against the norms.

Dr. Raj Bahadur, who hails from Himachal Pradesh, has an 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 is the former director-principal of the Govt Medical College and Hospital in Chandigarh and ex-head of Department of Orthopaedics at PGIMER, Chandigarh.

Dr Bahadur (71) is a renowned spine surgeon in the country, and Project Director and Member Secretary of the Regional Spinal Injuries Centre, Mohali. He is also a member of the National Medical Commission, the apex medical regulatory body in the country. This was his third term as a Vice Chancellor of the BFUHS, Faridkot.

The act of the health minister has brought the Bhagwant Mann government under an attack from political parties and different bodies of medical fraternity.

The social media was flooded with comments slamming the state health minister Jauramajra for humiliating BFUHS VC Dr Raj Bahadur.

Senior Congress leader Partap Singh Bajwa, who is leader of the opposition, has demanded strict action against health minister Jouramajra. In his tweets, Bajwa wrote, “ The sort of behaviour meted by the Health Minister to VC Baba Farid University Dr. Raj Bahadur is absolutely uncalled for @BhagwantMann ji should take strict action against the arrogant Minister. Otherwise such behaviour will alienate our medical fraternity.”

Taking to his Twitter handle, Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh Raja Warring wrote, “ Punjab Health Minister @jouramajra’s humiliating behaviour with Dr Raj Bahadur is highly condemnable. Minister must appologise”.

Shiromani Akali Dal President Sukhbir Singh Badal has strongly condemned the episode. He tweeted, “I strongly condemn reprehensible behaviour of Punjab health minister Jauramajra with eminent surgeon & BFUHS VC Dr. Raj Bahadur. Have spoken to Dr. Bahadur & expressed solidarity with him besides assuring full support to the entire med fraternity which is being targeted by AAP ministers & MLAs.”

“AAP ministers & MLAs are routinely abusing their power to belittle govt functionaries as per directions of their “trainer’@ArvindKejriwal&@raghav_chadha. I request CM@BhagwantMann to rein in the criminal tendencies of his MLAs or be ready to face the wrath of Punjabis,” he said in another tweet.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has also slammed the Punjab Health minister for “humiliating”, veteran surgeon Dr Raj Bahadur.

Dr Ramesh Kumar Sen, President of the Indian Orthopaedic Association too condemned the behaviour of the Health Minister and requested Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann to get Jauramajra’s resignation for going beyond the limits.

It is learnt that the CM Mann has taken a strong view of the incident and spoken to Jouramajra. Mann has also asked Dr Bahadur to meet him next week.

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