The hospital claims it could not afford the salaries of the department

One of the Capital’s oldest and most well-know charitable medical institutions, St. Stephen’s Hospital, has served a dismissal notice on Dr. Rani Bhatia allegedly for not making enough money for the institute. Dr. Bhatia, a psychiatrist, has worked with the hospital for over a decade.

Advocate Amiy Shukla, of the Human Rights Law Network, has now intervened on her behalf. The advocate noted that her client, Dr. Bhatia, “received a letter from the St. Stephen’s administration on September 4, terminating her services”.

“The termination has not only shocked my client but also the senior staff of St. Stephen’s Hospital. The termination letter also indicates disregard for the well-being of the 5,000 patients who come to her for treatment annually. Unlike other departments, many of the patients will invariably return to the same psychiatrist in whom they have confidence for treatment many times in the year and year after year,” said the advocate.

Reacting to a notice from the Human Rights Law Network, hospital director Dr. Sudhir Joseph said: “Dr. Bhatia has been working with us as a full-time doctor for the past five years (she was previously working part-time as per her own request) and her department has not been making enough money to even support the salaries of persons in her own unit. So we served her a notice to join us as a part-time doctor. The termination of service as a full-time employee was done as per the contract with the employee and she has not come back to us to talk over the terms and conditions.”

He said the department has a fairly heavy patient load and had two doctors, one full-time (Dr. Bhatia) and one part-time doctor.

“If Dr. Rani Bhatia wants to work with us, she will have to apply again for working here part-time,” said Dr. Joseph.

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