Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Friday ordered a probe into the transfer of a woman medical officer of Doon Hospital following her alleged altercation with the wife of a senior IAS officer, an official said.
Chief Minister Dhami also revoked the transfer of Dr Nidhi Uniyal to Almora Medical College while asking state Chief Secretary S S Sandhu to get the alleged malafide behind the transfer probed, a government spokesperson said.
He said the CM ordered the probe, taking note of social media reports on the doctor’s transfer following her spat with the wife of Health Secretary Pankaj Kumar Pandey and her subsequent mistreatment by the administration, the spokesperson said.
On the chief minister’s instructions, Chief Secretary Sandhu has asked Additional Chief Secretary Manisha Pawar to examine the matter and submit her report to him at the earliest, the spokesperson said.
According to social media reports, the Doon Hospital administration had asked Dr Uniyal to visit Pandey’s residence to see and treat his ailing wife at their home.
The reports said that owing to a large number of patients awaiting treatment at the hospital’s Outpatient Department, Dr Uniyal first declined to visit the health secretary’s residence but she had to eventually follow the orders of the hospital administration.
But at Pandey’s residence, there was an altercation between the health secretary’s wife and Dr Uniyal during the treatment being provided by her following which she returned to the hospital.
Soon after this incident, Dr Uniyal was served a transfer order to join Almora Medical College following which she offered to quit from the government service.
Dr Uniyal also wrote to her seniors that the hospital administration first asked her to apologise to the health secretary’s wife and then she was summarily transferred after she refused to follow the hospital administration’s diktats, the reports said.
With the state’s various unions of doctors and health workers too taking cognisance of the matter, the episode turned into a major controversy in Uttarakhand, prompting Chief Minister Dhami to order a high-level probe into the matter.
Reacting to the development, the state Congress questioned the impartiality of the probe with Health Secretary Pandey still holding his post and demanded that the officer be shifted from his post pending the enquiry.
Terming the whole episode as “unfortunate”, Uttarakhand Congress vice president Suryakant Ghasmana said till the probe is completed, Pandey must be kept away from his department.
He also said that the probe should be completed in a time-bound manner.
It is imperative that till the completion of the probe, Health Secretary Pandey should be kept away from the health department. Each individual happens to have a self respect and dignity and ho one has any right to hurt one’s dignity,” he said.