Lucknow: Tension has erupted at the Endocrinology department of the Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences in Lucknow, after the senior residents took off a protest against the poor working conditions and alleged ‘sadistic’ behaviour of a senior faculty member within the department.
Pointing out to the issues mental stress, patient overload, workplace harassment, dehumanising behaviour, the resident doctors shot out two set of letters, one addressed to the Head Of Department (Endocrinology) Professor Dr E Bhatia and another set to the SGPGI Director, Dean, Governor, President, National Human Rights Commission and National Commission for Women.
Stating that “the level of stress given by the superiors is causing immense mental agony, social and familial distress,” resident doctors have urged the administration to take corrective measures to create cordial working atmosphere in the department.
The residents have affirmed that they are subjected to written, verbal threats and humiliating behaviour. They also alleged that this is causing some residents to leave the course after studying for a year or two, which is a waste of talent and manpower in the country.
Taking serious cognition of the letters, the institute has set up by a three-member departmental inquiry and another one-member institute-level committee to look into the students’ grievances. The opposition by the resident, seems to have created a wedge between the senior and the junior doctors working at the institute.
SGPGI director, Prof Rakesh Kapoor told TOI, “We have formed two committees, one to look into the departmental grievances of the residents and the other to look into the harassment aspect of their allegations. But it is a childish way of approaching a problem where they have written letters instead of approaching us directly.”
“I want to say that the PGI is an institute where even the faculty members work for 18 hours a day, and if the residents are not ready to work as much as the faculty members, then how can the standards of the institute be maintained as one of the top ranked institutes of India,” Dr Kapoor told HT.
He added, “I will talk to all the residents to know their point. But it’s wrong to leak the letter in media before bringing the matter to the notice of higher authorities of the institute. This is indiscipline.”
“Resident at all places are overworked and it is not as such that it is here alone or they are being subjected to unnecessary work. If there is a mistake, they will be scolded since it is a matter of life and death here. It is a profession of hard work and that is how we have all learnt. Those who can’t keep up, leave. It is survival of the fittest.”
The departmental inquiry, he added, will be conducted by Prof Sushil Gupta, Prof Preeti Dabadghao and Prof Subhash Yadav, while Prof R N Mishra, head, immunology department, will handle the institute-level inquiry. Extending support to senior residents of endocrinology department, the Resident Doctors’ Association of SGPGI claimed that poor working conditions are not limited to just one department and threatened to protest if the issue is not resolved, adds TOI.