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NGO appeals PM for bringing Desiraju back to Health Department

New Delhi: People for Better Treatment (PBT), a Kolkata-based charitable organisation devoted to fight healthcare corruption and medical negligence, has urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to bring back Health Secretary Keshav Desiraju, who was transferred “allegedly due to his strong stance against corruption and refusal to pave the way for another return of disgraced ex-president of Medical Council of India (MCI), Dr Ketan Desai” and his supporters to the helm of Indian health regulatory system.

Describing it as a “a matter of great significance to medical education and healthcare system in India” PBT president Dr Kunal Saha, in a letter to the Prime Minister, said on Thursday, Desiraju was an “exception as he showed willingness to tackle the important issues in a fair and impartial manner without wilting under extraneous pressure. The abrupt transfer of Mr Desiraju sends an ominous signal for doctors and public at large.”

Reports have been doing the round recently which said Desiraju, a 1978-batch IAS officer of Uttarakhand cadre who was appointed as the union health secretary in February 2013, was unceremoniously removed a year later on Tuesday morning, over differences with Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.

Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, an NGO working on public health, alleged that Desiraju’s transfer might be linked to some of his decisions such as his unwillingness to accept Dr Ketan Desai, former Medical Council of India (MCI) president who was removed following corruption charges, as a key functionary in the current medical council.

Quoting sources The Pioneer reported that Desiraju was allegedly upset over the fact that at least 17 doctors out of the 68 new members nominated or elected to the new MCI were part of the previous MCI, which was dissolved in 2010 on ground of rampant corruption under its ex-president Dr Ketan Desai. Desiraju was also allegedly against one of the companies selling stent in the country and wanted to cancel its licence despite objections by the ministry, the report claimed.

Speaking to PTI, Azad, however, described Desiraju as a capable officer and termed his transfer as a regular affair.

PBT Memorandum to PM

4 Comments

  1. Maj Pankaj Rai (Retd) Maj Pankaj Rai (Retd) Sunday, February 23, 2014

    Dr Desai’s return to MCI should be opposed by all right minded citizens and doctors. Mr Desiraju should be brought back.

  2. Pavani M Pavani M Thursday, February 20, 2014

    The N.G.O is acting as though Dr Ketan Desai can change the MCI for worse. Already MCI has become monument of corruption.Thanks to our central minister of Health. MCI was only den of corruption under Dr Ketan Desai. Unless MCI is reorganised with majority of elected members and not by nominated members of state or central governments,no one can hope to change the MCI.

  3. Saikumar G Saikumar G Thursday, February 20, 2014

    People who are crying foul over the transfer of Mr Keshav Desiraju now should answer a simple question that is whether MCI has become clean and corruption free without Dr Kethan Desai now?.In fact,the decisions taken by the central health minister through MCI members nominated by him were not thinkable when Dr Ketan Desai was president of MCI. For example raising the retirement age from 65 to 70 years for faculty working in private medical colleges. Already many private medical colleges are preferring retired professors to young doctors as exhibition dolls to get PG seats and to nod their heads for any decision of college management. No punishment is even considered against the private medical college managements for giving false data. Nothing is done for many dissertations submitted under guidance of faculty who are practising doctors(Ghost professors) with PG degrees far away from the medical college. The decision to make even an associate professor as dissertation guide was taken now and this created more PG seats for private medical colleges. The actions of central health ministry now made most of the doctors to forget Dr Ketan Desai as highly corrupt.

  4. Dr.Sampath Dr.Sampath Monday, February 17, 2014

    Transfer of Mr.Keshav Desiraju just one year after taking charge as the Union Health Secretary is surprising and not helpful in improving the image of the Health Ministry

    The Union Health Minister has been taking up many measures to tone up the system and help the general public.Let us hope that he will look into this matter and show that he is a man who means business and good governance

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