A health worker at Rajindra Hospital in Patiala, Punjab. | Photo: Praveen Jain/ThePrint
A health worker at Rajindra Hospital in Patiala, Punjab. | Photo: Praveen Jain/ThePrint
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Amritsar: The Punjab government has replaced the top administration of Patiala’s Rajindra Hospital and Government Medical College over poor performance amid the Covid-19 crisis.

On Saturday, the government removed the hospital’s medical superintendent and the principal and vice-principal of the medical college, and appointed their replacements.

Rajindra Hospital, linked to the Government Medical College, is one of the three key tertiary healthcare institutes in the state, and is fighting a high Covid mortality rate. Earlier this week, ThePrint reported that nearly one in every four Covid patients admitted for treatment at the government-run hospital has died since March.

The latest move came a week after Punjab Medical Education Minister O.P. Soni visited the hospital. He confirmed the latest development to ThePrint.

“We have read about the state of the hospital in media reports and I had personally also visited the hospital a week ago,” said the minister, adding that his department had received several complaints against the functioning of the hospital.

“Many doctors weren’t turning up, patients weren’t giving great feedback, so it is the responsibility of the MS and the principal to ensure things are under control,” Soni said. “It is tough time for everyone but we also need to be strict to ensure things aren’t being taken lightly.”

Principal Secretary D.K. Tiwari issued the orders, accessed by ThePrint, to remove Dr Harjinder Singh (urology department) as principal and Dr Parmod Kumar (anaesthesia department) as vice-principal of the Government Medical College, and
Dr Paras Pandove (surgery department) as the hospital’s medical superintendent.

Dr Rajan Singla (anatomy department), Dr Raminderpal Singh Sibia (medicine department) and Dr Harnam Singh Rekhi (surgery department) were appointed as their replacements, respectively.

Worst record

During his visit, the medical education minister noted the negative feedback by the public and the large number of deaths at the hospital.

The hospital recorded 1,894 Covid positive cases, out of a total of 2,858 admissions, between March-end and 15 September. It also recorded 453 deaths during that period, which is 24 per cent of all positive cases. Over 155 patients are currently on various forms of oxygen.

These are the worst numbers among the three tertiary hospitals in Punjab.

Also read: Covid-19 could cause drop in life expectancy by 1-9 years across the world, study finds


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