TN Medical College Dean Alleges Harassment against Collector, seeks Retirement
Virudhunagar: Controversy has erupted over the transfer of the newly appointed dean of Virudhunagar Medical College, after she alleged that the Collector harassed her and sought voluntary retirement. Dean of Sivaganga Medical College, J. Sangumani has taken her place at Virudhunagar. Dr. Sangumani was earlier the dean of Madurai Medical College. Meanwhile, the dean had written to...
Virudhunagar: Controversy has erupted over the transfer of the newly appointed dean of Virudhunagar Medical College, after she alleged that the Collector harassed her and sought voluntary retirement. Dean of Sivaganga Medical College, J. Sangumani has taken her place at Virudhunagar. Dr. Sangumani was earlier the dean of Madurai Medical College.
Meanwhile, the dean had written to the Director of Medical Education seeking voluntary retirement from service. Although she alleged that the Collector humiliated her and issued her a show-cause notice immediately after she joined duty for not meeting him as a courtesy on the day of joining, the Collector stated that the show-cause notice was due to the doctor's failure to join a meeting with the health secretary.
As per the latest media report by the New Indian Express, the dean was transferred to Virudhunagar from Kanyakumari Medical College, where she was working from November 2019. On May 19, 2021, she was made in charge of Virudhuagar medical college.
However, after the controversial row with the Collector, the doctor proceeded on leave. The Collector asked her to explain her absence in a video conference with the Health Secretary on May 19, and a subsequent meeting with the district officials on the same evening. She, on the other hand, claimed that she was unaware of the meetings and she failed to meet the Collector as she had gone to her residence in Madurai and it was raining heavily, reports The Hindu.
Speaking to the New Indian Express regarding the issue, the dean said, "I arrived at the hospital and got details regarding the basics. I did not avail a leave also. I inspected the oxygen situation. I went on rounds to know the ground-level situation and reached back to my house at Madurai that evening.
However, as soon as I reached home, I was informed from the hospital that the collector had asked me to meet him. I immediately called him and asked if it was an emergency and stated that I reached home. He said that it was not an emergency and asked me to meet him for courtesy as I joined that day. There was a heavy rain lashing and finding a driver was difficult so I asked him if I could meet him the next morning."
Alleging that the Collector spoke to her in a "rough" manner and insisted on meeting the same day, the dean added, "I asked my husband if he could drive, but as rains were relentlessly pouring, he offered to explain to the collector and asked permission to meet him the next day but the collector spoke in the same way." She did not go to meet the Collector that day.
"The next morning, after reviewing the hospital situation, I was getting ready to offer a courtesy visit as I could not meet him the previous day. However, I received a memo from the collector seeking explanation for my absence in a meeting with the health secretary within 48 hours. The memo also had a 'cooked up' story about how I refused to meet him to discuss the matter urgently" she added.
The memo, as mentioned by the daily, sought for the doctor's explanation to not initiate disciplinary action against her stating the following reasons: she had failed to attend the meeting with the health secretary on May 19 at 3 pm; she refused to meet the collector when he called for an emergency discussion related to the meeting; and one Isaac Mohanlal reportedly contacted the collector that evening and threatened him, which is a violation of Rule 18 of the Tamil Nadu Government Servants Conduct Rules.
Mentioning that she was planning to take voluntary retirement, the doctor added, "I did not receive any message about the meeting. I was not informed about such a meeting even during my telephonic conversation with the collector around 5.30 pm when he asked me to meet him. I was not told about any emergency meeting also. I have sent my reply notice on May 20 and availed medical leave. I cannot work in such an environment. I have been handling Covid cases for the past 1.5 years and it has taken a toll on me, similar to other healthcare workers. We do not receive appreciation or respect from the public and if the officials also pressurize me, I cannot handle it."
Speaking to the New Indian Express, the doctor's advocate said, "The way the collector handled the issue is unacceptable and the government's inaction is painful."
However, the Collector refuted such claims and said, "intimation was given to her properly but she did not turn up, so I had sent a memo. She also did not turn up for a meeting with me to talk about it."
Although the Collector charged her with negligence during the pandemic, the dean in her reply notice has stated that she has been in the service for the past 30 years and no complaint has been raised against her.
Barsha completed her MA from the University of Burdwan, West Bengal in 2018. Having a knack for Journalism she joined Medical Dialogues back in 2020. She mainly covers news about medico legal cases, NMC/DCI updates, medical education issues including the latest updates about medical and dental colleges in India. She can be contacted at email@example.com.