Medical circles in India's commercial metropolis of Mumbai are shocked as two leading cardiologists are unceremoniously sacked by the management of the prestigious Asian Heart Institute.
Dr Sandeep Rane and Dr Bhaskar Shah find themselves locked out of the very institution they had co-promoted. Only they have minority stakes now and are helpless against the
the management led by heart surgeon Dr Ramakant Panda, reports the Times of India.
The two doctors received a New Year's 'gift' from Dr Panda in the form of a letter informing that they could not practice at the hospital any longer. If they indeed had to enter the premises to treat patients still admitted in the 130-bed hospital, they would be escorted by security personnel, the letter said.
Dr Panda would only say that the consultancy contracts of the duo had not been renewed.
Sources in the hospital said that the two cardiologists had carried on a bruising battle with the Dr. Panda for some time. E-mails trading charges have moved back and forth.
Dr Rane, also a civic activist, is learnt to have alleged that disposables were used at the hospital in violation of norms, patients discouraged from using the general wards forcing them to opt for the more expensive wards, the blood bank was not run with a valid license and that several bypass surgeries were conducted by junior doctors even though patients paid for the operations to be performed by Dr Panda.
Also, there have been cases of mix up of patients' identities because of which in one case angiography was about to be performed on a person who was mistaken for another. Dr Rane had also objected to the formation of a new company comprising Dr Panda and his brother-in-law Tara Mahapatra to market the hospital abroad, it is said
But Dr Panda told the Times newspaper on Saturday that the charges were 'baseless' and alleged that both Dr Rane and Dr Shah were promoting Thane's Jupiter Heart Hospital and encouraging the Asian staff to go there. This charge was rejected by both the doctors. Dr Shah, however, said he did have a 'miniscule' stake in Jupiter, but he never encouraged the defection of staff.
Dr Panda said Asian was the only institute outside the USA to get a quality certification from ISO, Joint Commission International and National Integrated Accreditation for Healthcare Organisations.
Dr Rane and Dr Shah's consultancy contracts were not renewed only for 'professional reasons'. He said Dr Rane's attendance record and management of the cardiology department were not up to the mark. He had also threatened to mobilise the staff over the quality of food served in the cafeteria even though the contractor's term was coming to an end and a new one was to be appointed.
Dr Panda also claimed that Dr Shah's contract was not renewed owing to "patient- and mediclaim-related problems."
Asserting† that the use of disposables was within the FDA norms and guidelines of the Hospital Infection Society, Dr Panda said the blood bank's licence was valid as well. He also said Dr Rane and Dr Shah were given an opportunity to be part of the firm floated to market the hospital abroad, but they had turned down the offer.
Dr Panda further claimed that a large number of surgeries were performed by him and said the mortality rate at the hospital was among the lowest in the country.