Ramadoss wants AIIMS to focus on patient safety, researchMarch 16th, 2008 - 11:08 am ICT by admin
By Kavita Bajeli-Datt
New Delhi, March 16 (IANS) Possibly hinting at the cases of medical negligence that have come to light at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss wants the premier referral institute to focus more on patient care and safety. Ramadoss also believes AIIMS should give high importance to research.
“Patient safety should be given first priority. Also, the institute should ensure that the medical staff, including nurses, are polite to them. They should behave well with them. They should offer a holistic environment,” Ramadoss, who is also AIIMS president, told IANS.
He said the World Health Organisation (WHO) lays a lot of importance on patient safety.
On Jan 1 this year, a senior doctor was accused of leaving artery forceps in the stomach of a 30-year-old woman who had undergone operation. The forceps were removed in a subsequent operation. She was discharged later.
In October last year, a cardiac surgeon left a screw inside the chest of a heart patient. The patient died a few days after the operation. In another case, a doctor, while taking out stones from a patient’s stomach, left a towel inside the patient.
Ramadoss said focus on research should also be high on the agenda of AIIMS.
Expressing concern that for the past few years the institute has not been able to come out with any major research breakthroughs, he stressed that research is the key area.
Research is the only way we can reduce the disease burden on the country, he added.
The health ministry last year allotted to the institute Rs.2.8 billion , out of which only Rs.2 billion was spent. “We also gave them an additional amount of Rs.300 million to Rs.500 million,” said Ramadoss.
“If they ask for more money we will give them more. It is our own premier institute,” he said.
The health minister also said that in another three months the institute would be able to shortlist the name of its new director. “The process has begun to look for a new director,” he said.
Ramadoss was in the spotlight last year for his bitter turf war with renowned cardiac surgeon P. Venugopal who was subsequently removed as AIIMS director.
Currently T.D. Dogra is functioning as the acting director. The minister appointed Dogra as he was next in seniority to Venugopal, who was ousted after parliament passed a legislation fixing the retirement age at 65 for the director.
Soon after his removal, Venugopal, 66, approached the Supreme Court challenging his removal as director of AIIMS. The apex court March 12 reserved its verdict on his petition.
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