Safdarjung Hospital’s scheduled surgery stalled by Dr Manish Rawat’s arrest

New Delhi: The recent arrest of a neurosurgeon working at Safdarjung Hospital has forced the administration to frame a new policy for procurement and use of implant devices for surgeries.

Dr Manish Rawat was arrested by the CBI last week for his alleged involvement in a cash-for-treatment scam along with four of his associates. After this, the hospital administration met the department heads and inquired about the equipment being used for the implant.

A senior doctor said that some scheduled surgeries have been put on hold. “We have been asked not to operate them till the administration comes up with a plan on procuring equipment. The hospital wants everything to be in-house. Earlier, departments were getting equipment on a tender basis. This will cause inconvenience to the patients as there will be no immediate change and it will take time to implement the new policy.”

Another senior surgeon said that after the arrest, the administration was conducting an internal inquiry to check whether more such irregularities had taken place. “There have been incidents where a surgeon has used an expired device to implant. So, now the authorities want to keep a tab on all such cases. As of now, there are going to be guidelines for urgent surgeries.”

Affordable Medicines for Treatment and Reliable Implants (AMRIT) Pharmacy was established in 2016 at Safdarjung Hospital to procure equipment at low cost. The orthopedic department last year planned to procure implant devices through the pharmacy. Now the administration is also planning for this. “A policy is being considered that all equipment will be procured from one platform to curb corruption. Each department has been asked to send its required list to the authority. However, we will use equipment that is already have already been procured so that patients are not affected till new ones arrive,” said another senior doctor.

According to the administration, devices requiring planned and implant surgeries that are to be procured or procured from outside have been put on hold till the new policy is formulated. “It is not that all surgeries will not take place. Seriously ill patients will be considered, but in cases where surgeries can be stopped and the life of the patient will not be disrupted, they will be put on hold.” Medical Superintendent Dr BL Sherwal Said, “The new policy should come out in a few days. An internal inquiry committee has also been constituted to look into the matter.”