Bindu Shajan Perappadan

Appeal follows severe criticism of Institute for alleged cases of medical negligence

‘Reputation of arguably the best centre for the treatment of heart diseases has been tainted’

‘Institute’s Cardiothoracic Centre has catered to over one lakh out-patients during 2006-2007’

NEW DELHI: In an attempt to salvage the reputation of the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences’ Cardiothoracic Sciences Centre, which recently came under severe criticism for two alleged cases of medical negligence by two senior physicians at the department, senior faculty members have appealed to the public to also look at the “good work done by the Institute”.

Mindless cacophony

“Amidst this mindless cacophony of criticism, we wish to highlight the exemplary work that continues to be performed here. The unfortunate consequence of a series of events has brought down the reputation of arguably the best centre for the treatment of heart diseases. Faculty members who have dedicated most of their working lives to the building, development and continued growth of the Cardiothoracic Sciences Centre are today deeply anguished by this fall from grace as a consequence of all the inappropriate adverse publicity,” said a senior faculty member at the Institute.

Giving details of the work done at the Institute’s Cardiothoracic Centre, the faculty member said during 2006-2007 the Centre had catered to over one lakh out-patients.

A one-page note issued by the senior faculty at AIIMS said: “Over 11,000 patients were admitted for medical and surgical treatment of a variety of heart diseases. During this period, nearly 6,000 cardiac catheterisation procedures were performed. About 1,500 of these were for the performance of state-of-the-art interventional procedures, including coronary angioplasty and device implantations. Nearly 2,500 open-heart surgeries, including those for complex heart disease in children barely a few hours old, were performed.”

Heavy patient load

Stating that all the procedures were done despite the constraints on the number of beds available and the heavy patient load, a faculty member added: “The Institute was recently ranked third in the world in recognition of its ability to provide world-class care at less than a dollar per patient per day with low complication rate. In addition, AIIMS also manages to do quality research. It is also the most coveted centre for training in fields of cardiology and cardiovascular surgery. All these contributions of the Institute can’t be sidelined over two alleged cases of medical negligence.”

The faculty has appealed to everyone “not to destroy the Institute’s reputation, painstakingly built over half a century”, stating that “the country and its poor cannot afford to lose AIIMS”.