Tell how private doc was brought for PM’s surgery, CIC to AIIMSMay 26th, 2009 - 6:36 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, May 26 (IANS) The Central Information Commission (CIC) has directed the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to reveal how the decision to bring a private doctor, Ramakant Panda, to conduct Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s cardiac surgery was arrived at.
Manmohan Singh, 76, underwent a coronary bypass surgery Jan 24 to remove five arterial blockages. He was operated upon at AIIMS by an 11-member panel of doctors led by Ramakant Panda of the Asian Heart Institute (AHI), Mumbai. He was discharged from hospital Feb 1.
The decision to ask for the information came on an appeal filed by Jagdish Chander Jetli, who had asked AIIMS why Panda was chosen to conduct the prime minister’s heart surgery.
“Information pertaining to the details including expertise of Ramakant Panda and other team members from the AHI Mumbai are not available in the AIIMS hospital records, and hence it is not possible to provide the same,” the hospital replied to Jetli’s query.
AIIMs, however, maintained that it had its own experts to conduct the surgery and such operations were being conducted at the premier institute for the last three decades. It added that the decision to invite Panda was taken “jointly by the PMO and family members of the Prime Minister”.
The Information Commissioner Annapurna Dixit further directed: “The appellant also to be informed about how the decision to invite Panda to conduct the surgery was arrived at and for what reasons and also be provided with minutes of any meetings in this connection, available with the AIIMS, by June 20.”
Jetli contended before the CIC that “The public has the right to know why a premier institute such as the AIIMS, which is staffed by the best doctors in the country and with the best of medical facilities, had to invite a doctor from outside to conduct the operation in its premises. This is a matter of great concern to the public and inviting a doctor from another institute has eroded the reputation of AIIMS.”
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