The Indian Medical Association on Saturday criticised Punjab Health Minister Chetan Singh Jouramajra for forcing the head of a medical university to lie down on a dirty mattress during an inspection.
The development came a day after the minister allegedly forced Raj Bahadur, the vice-chancellor of the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, to lie down on the mattress at the Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital in Faridkot, PTI reported. The college is affiliated to the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences.
A video showed Jouramajra placing a hand on Bahadur’s shoulder and asking him to lie on the mattress. The vice-chancellor reportedly told the minister that he was responsible for the facilities, but the minister insisted that everything was in his hands.
Bahadur on Saturday resigned from his post, NDTV reported.
The Indian Medical Association said that Jouramajra’s action was “absolutely uncalled for” and added that it amounted to an insult of the medical fraternity across India.
The organisation called for the minister’s resignation and demanded an immediate and unconditional apology from him.
“There have been similar incidents causing humiliation and harassment to the medical community by many politicians,” it said. “It causes anguish amongst the doctors. The dignity of [doctors] and work done by such senior person must be respected.”
The Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association India urged Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann to urgently intervene in the matter and take appropriate action. The association said that Jouramajra’s actions were “undignified and derogatory” and described Bahadur as a highly respected medical professional.
“Such incidences are highly demoralising and bring highest level of disappointment not only to the doctors of the state but to the entire nation,” the association said.
Several Opposition leaders in Punjab criticised the state government and the ruling Aam Aadmi Party in connection with the incident.
“Cheap theatrics of Aam Aadmi Party never cease,” Congress MLA Pargat Singh said. “Today the Vice Chancellor of Baba Farid Medical University, Raj Bahadur Singh was publicly humiliated by the Health minister Chetan Singh Jouramajra...This type of mob behaviour will only demoralise our medical staff.”
Former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said that Jouramajra’s behaviour was unacceptable. “Not only should he apologise to Dr Raj Bahadur, a distinguished doctor, he should be sacked immediately,” he said. “This is a test case for Bhagwant Mann to restore confidence of medical community.”