Medical College Director indicted after Video showing him using Table Salt on surgical patients goes viral
Bhubaneswar: After a video of Ashwini Pujahari, the Director of Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Science and Research (VIMSAR) pouring edible table salt inside a man’s body following a surgical incision went viral, the four-member inquiry committee investing the charges against him has indicted the accused doctor.
The doctor has been accused of unethical clinical practice and misconduct. Based on the report submitted by the inquiry committee to the government, the doctor has been found guilty and asked to go on leave until he replies to the show-cause notices sent to him by the government regarding his actions.
However, the doctor has too applied for his resignation, as per media reports.
The matter came to light when the juniors doctors attached to the institute started observing cease work demanding the removal of the Director. Medical Dialogues had reported that on 22nd November, the Junior Doctors’ Association (JDA) submitted a memorandum to the Health Minister demanding the removal of the Dr Pujahari alleging his involvement in unlawful activities stating that his style of functioning is not acceptable to the medicos at the institute.
There are allegations that the accused Director has been harassing resident doctors, medical students, faculties and staff. Not only this, the director has 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 recent 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 Pujahari, reports Odisha TV. 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.”
TOI reports that 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. Certain sources informed the daily that Dr Pujahari told the panel that he used the salt as a 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.
On the other hand, Dr Pujahari has refuted the allegations charged against him claiming, “The patient shown in the video is doing fine. Salt was poured but was removed using suction pipes after a few minutes. The video shown was not complete.”
Meanwhile, in support of their counterparts at VIMSAR, two other state-based medical colleges have come forward to join the agitation, adds Odisha TV.
Director Resigns after inquiry
A day after the inquiry committee indicted him, Dr Pujahari has been served a show-cause notice and directed to remain on leave until his reply is received and disposed by the State Government.
“He has been asked to reply on the findings and observations of the inquiry committee against allegations levelled against him. If he fails to reply within the stipulated time, it will be presumed that he has nothing to say and the matter would be decided as deemed proper and appropriate,” Secretary of Health and Family Welfare Dr Pramod Kumar Meherda confirmed to TNIE.
However, the doctor himself has submitted his resignation to the department meanwhile.
“If they think that I am responsible for disruption in healthcare services then its better, I should resign as Surgeon,” Pujahari had written in the letter as per Odisha TV.