The issue stems from a case of medical negligence involving surgeon Dr A K Bisoi, who allegedly left a screw inside the chest of a patient. The patient died a few days after the operation.
While the inquiry set up by the director of the All India Institute of Medical Studies gave a clean chit to the doctor, saying the loss or retrieval of the screw did not result in death of the patient, the health ministry is refusing to buy this.
"The committee set up by the director wasn't approved by the governing body of AIIMS, which we think is necessary. Hence, we don't accept the report submitted by this panel," a health ministry official was quoted.
The official added that AIIMS president and Union health minister, Ambumani Ramadoss, had set up his own four-member committee to look into the matter. The panel, headed by dean of AIIMS, R C Deka, is likely to submit its report in the coming week.
"Besides, enquiring into this case, the committee will also be looking into another allegation where Dr Bisoi reportedly left a patient on anesthesia for over three hours and didn't operate on him in the end, even though he was assigned to do so," added the official.
Another controversy is also brewing at AIIMS. Following certain media reports regarding an alleged case of medical negligence against another doctor, the resident doctors' association (RDA) and the faculty association of AIIMS (FAAIIMS) claim they have written to Venugopal, asking him to probe into that matter as well.
"The faculty association of AIIMS is deeply disturbed by the allegations appearing in the media regarding professional lapses on part of Dr Sampath Kumar, professor of cardio-thoracic surgery, AIIMS. The FAAIIMS demands an immediate inquiry to resolve this issue and help restore the image of the institute," says the letter addressed to Venugopal.
"I came to know through certain media reports that a 12-year-old boy had died after a heart surgery was performed on him by Dr Sampath Kumar in March. We have asked the director to probe into the matter as the reputation of AIIMS is at stake here," president of FAAIIMS, Dr B K Khaitan was reported.
On Wednesday evening, the director constituted a five-member fact-finding committee to look into the allegations made against Dr Kumar. The committee will be headed by Dr Rajan Tandon, ex-HOD, and department of cardiology, AIIMS.
FAAIIMS has the full support of the RDA on this issue. Incidentally, Dr Kumar and Dr Bisoi are in the same department — cardio-thoracic and vascular surgery — where Kumar is the HOD. Kumar is also on the panel of the four-member committee set up by Ramadoss to probe into the alleged case of negligence against Dr Bisoi.
All in all, it's raining scandals at AIIMS.