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'Humiliated' Dean Contemplates Leaving AIIMS

The dean of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) is contemplating leaving the institution, saying he has been subjected to humiliation //by "some colleagues and misguided students".

"The day I became the dean of AIIMS, I was offered the post of vice-chancellor of K.G. Medical University in Lucknow. I declined the offer then but might reconsider in view of the prevalent situation (in AIIMS)," said R.C. Deka, a leading ENT surgeon in the country and an expert in cochlear implant surgery.

On June 15, some doctors and students surrounded his house and shouted slogans demanding his resignation allegedly after a provocative speech by AIIMS director P. Venugopal.

"After being in the profession for nearly 31 years and serving for 25 years at AIIMS, it becomes difficult to face humiliation from colleagues and misguided students. They surrounded my quarters, shouted slogans against me and even demanded my resignation," Deka told IANS.

Deka, who has been heading the ENT department for the past 11 years, said he was so disturbed by the developments that he cancelled his trip to Russia this week.

He had been invited as a guest speaker to the annual session of the International Academy of Otorhinolaryngology (ENT) at St. Petersburg.

It seems the AIIMS has not learnt from the exodus of top doctors. Since 2003, 24 senior doctors have left, either for monetary reasons or because of infighting in the institution.

In March, three of AIIMS' top doctors - V.S. Mehta (head of neurosurgery), Anoop Misra (professor of medicine) and S.N. Mehta (head of surgery) - left to join private hospitals.

According to health ministry sources, the institute is currently running short of faculty members and its present staff strength is much less than the sanctioned strength.

"The AIIMS is running with just 479 faculty members as against its sanctioned strength of 543," a source
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