Sambalpur: The Odisha government on Friday served a show-cause notice to the director of Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (VIMSAR) Prof Ashwini Pujahari and asked him to go on leave.
In the show-cause notice served by the commissioner-cum-secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Pramod Meherda, Pujahari has been asked to go on leave till he replies to it and the matter is decided.
Apart from being asked to reply to the show-cause in three days, Pujahari has also been asked to submit the probe reports against him.
“I will furnish all the reports to the Health and Family Welfare department regarding the complaint of the VIMSAR Junior Doctors Association, Odisha Medical Teachers’ Association (OMTA) and some employees of the Institute. I respect the letter of the state government and will respectfully furnish my reply. I had submitted these reports to the inquiry committee during its visit to the Institute earlier. To convince the government, I will again submit these reports and abide by whatever decision the government will take on this matter,” Pujahari said.
Following the demands of the JDA, the VIMSAR director had withdrawn from the surgical practices as the in-charge of Unit-I of the department, which he had informed the head of Surgery department in a letter on Friday afternoon.
“Since the probe committee has raised questions over my treatment methods, I decided withdraw from surgical practice. But I will continue as the director. The demands of junior doctors have been met and they should join duty now,” he had said.
Notably, videos of Pujahari using table salt and tabla therapies had earlier gone viral on social media.
Despite withdrawing as the in-charge surgeon, the Junior Doctors’ Association (JDA) is in no mood to relent from its demand for his ouster as the director of VIMSAR.
The junior doctors had been on a cease-work stir opposing his treatment methods and given the state government a 48-hour ultimatum for his removal from the post of director on Thursday. They had threatened to intensify the stir if their demand was not met.
The JDA claimed that the cancer patient of Chhattisgarh, whose surgery was conducted by Pujahari using table salt at the affected place, had died. The doctor, however, refuted it.
“My method of treatment was right. His health condition is stable now and he will come to VIMSAR again,” Pujahari said.
He also drew flak for his administration methods and conducting experimental surgeries on poor patients without their consent and approval of the ethics committee.
The JDA had also filed a police complaint against him.