AIIMS dilemma: Three Sr doctors in race to head Cardiac Surgery Dept
Premier government hospital All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) is facing an interesting dilemma over choosing the next head of Cardiac Surgery department. This department conducts nearly 5,000 surgeries in a year at nominal costs as well as provides diagnosis and treatment to thousands of patients.
The current AIIMS Director, Dr Balram Airal, is superannuating on December 31 this year and he has to take a final call in next seven days about the appointment of head of Cardiac Surgery department.
The problem is that there are three candidates for the post. They are Professors Dr Ujjwal Kumar Chowdhury, Dr A K Bisoi and Dr Shiv K Chaudhary.
On September 12, 2005, these three former Associate Professors were recruited as Additional Professors on the same date. The then standing selection committee gave the same grade, A+, to all the three candidates but this committee has been accused of "manipulation" in preparing the seniority list.
According to the rules, which is being quoted by AIIMS administration and has been quoted in affidavits in several court cases, the seniority of the faculty members of AIIMS is being determined on three criteria: Marks obtained/ Grades, Date of joining and Age of the candidate.
On the basis of the above mentioned criteria, technically, Dr Ujjwal Kumar Chowdhury is the senior-most but in the allegedly manipulated seniority list, someone else has been shown as the senior-most.
In view of the controversy and looking at the critical role that the Cardiac Surgery department plays, the Union Health Ministry is expected to intervene. There is a possibility that the department might get divided among the three contesting Senior Professors.