Sambalpur: Dr Aswini Pujahari, former- Director of Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Science and Research (VIMSAR), who was accused of unethical clinical practice and misconduct, has now been issued show cause notice by the Odisha Council of Medical Registration (OCMR).
Earlier, the doctor was indicted by the four-member inquiry committee who investigated the charges against him after a video of him pouring edible table salt inside a man’s body following a surgical incision went viral.
Based on the report submitted by the inquiry committee to the government, the doctor was found guilty and asked to go on leave until he replied to the show-cause notices sent to him by the government regarding his actions. However, the doctor too applied for his resignation.
Medical Dialogues had reported about the matter which came to light when the juniors doctors attached to the institute started observing cease work demanding the removal of the Director.
On 22nd November, the Junior Doctors’ Association (JDA) submitted a memorandum to the Health Minister demanding the removal of the Dr Aswini Pujahari alleging his involvement in unlawful activities stating that his style of functioning is not acceptable to the medicos at the institute.
There were allegations that the accused Director had been harassing resident doctors, medical students, faculties and staff. Not only this, the Director had been resorting to unethical human experiments while treating patients and behaving with them in humiliating ways, claimed the open letter to the Health Minister by United Resident Doctors’ Association (URDA).
In a press release, the JDA at VIMSAR stated: “Pujahari performed unwarranted and unapproved surgeries on poor and destitute patients who can’t protest, without their informed and written consent.” They alleged Dr Pujahari used table salt and lemon juice on many patients without approval from the Drug Controller of India.
The JDA has also filed a police complaint against Dr Aswini Pujahari. The JDA members stated, “There is no reference in books regarding such type of treatments and we have evidence that the patient on whom edible salt was used during surgery died.”
The panel, among others, examined a video which had gone viral on social media. In the video, the Dr Pujahari’s team is seen pouring edible table salt inside a man’s body following a surgical incision. Dr Pujahari told the panel that he used the salt as hypertonic saline (a solution that contains a very low percentage of sodium chloride). The panel, however, did not find it acceptable as table salt contains 95% sodium chloride.
A day after the inquiry committee indicted him, Dr Pujahari was served a show-cause notice and directed to remain on leave until his reply is received and disposed of by the State Government.
Subsequent to the government’s action on the issue, the junior doctors ended the cease work and resumed duty from December 8.
Now, the Odisha Council of Medical Registration has asked Dr Pujahari to give written explanation on each point raised against him within 15 days, failing which, an action may be taken against him by the council. The council has also asked the accused director to deposit photocopies of his MBBS registration certificate and other relevant qualifications along with his explanation within the stipulated period, reports TNIE.