C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

No place for trade unions in hospitals: Dr Talwar
Says institutions inflicted by small-town mentality, professional rivalry and ‘media medicine’
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
The outgoing director of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGI), Dr K.K.Talwar, minced no words is saying that trade unions were the most unfortunate link in the management chain and that they had no place in such institutions of eminence.

In an exclusive interview to The Tribune here today, Padma Bhushan recipient, Dr K.K. Talwar, who will be demitting office after seven years and one month on April 30, said, “It is indeed unfortunate that ‘small town mentality’, ‘professional jealousies’ and ‘media medicine’ was prospering in the coveted medical institution of the region. All these maladies were a part of the trade union wheel,” he observed.

“Infact, there is no place, at all, for trade unions in the medical profession today. Work culture of the corporate is the need of the hour. The change means nothing more than greater accountability”, said the outgoing directer who is expected to shift to New Delhi to join a private hospital of eminence.

“I will not like to blame anyone individually. The institution has a very talented work force. However, they are being faced with a situation which a common man experienced during days of terrorism in Punjab. Terrorists with guns used to come to a common man’s house. At gun point they would seek food and shelter at night. Then the next day the police would come to question them for their alleged links with terrorists. Some are stuck in the same situation”, he said.

“Because of certain inherent weaknesses in the system, an employee lands up in the union’s office even for routine jobs like holidays and promotions. I accept the fact that these should be cleared in routine immediately”, he said.

“Shifting to the corporate culture is the biggest need of the hour. The corporate culture is not all anti-employee. It is only a system for greater accountability for employees. At the moment, I can only suspend someone. He will still get half pay. Then there will be a committee and the employee will approach the CAT or some such forum which only ends up making the process lengthy and often meaningless”.

Punjab, Hry, HP must improve on healthcare

Commenting on the considerable patient load that the PGI continued to get, Dr Talwar had a word of advice for the neighbouring states, particularly Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. “These states need to develop their medical infrastructure and facilities. We cannot blame people from coming to us. It is disconcerting to see so many patients seeking quality healthcare while lying for long periods at a stretch on stretchers. But the governments of the neighbouring states need to develop medical facilities”, he said. Asked what was the reason why neighbouring states were unable to develop medical facilities, Dr Talwar said “the problem lies with deficiency in work culture and facilities at hospitals in these states. There was a time when Rajendra Hospital and Amritsar Hospital were so renowned, but today……”, he said, while letting the hanging sentence reflect on the state of affairs in these once reputed hospitals.

Dr Talwar had a word of advice for non government organizations. “There is a need for private social welfare organizations to get into the health sector. Some organizations such as DAV and the Khalsa institutions have done very good work in the field of education. We need such organizations to get into affordable healthcare in a big way”, he said.

Professional networking

Asked about his views on medical care in the city, Dr Talwar lamented that what was seriously lacking was integration and networking between government dispensaries and hospitals. “Despite the city having an adequate network of civil dispensaries and government hospitals, the PGI continues to witness a huge patient rush. One of the major reason is that there exists no effective networking between the healthcare system at the ground level. A patient gets rushed to PGI even for small maladies. This is because accountability is lacking in other hospitals.

Like as it exists in the UK, a patient should be first visiting a general physician (except in an emergency) who should then refer to a dispensary or a hospital as the case may be. In fact, doctors should be made accountable before a case went to the higher level. A functional system defining the job of different wings needs to be put in place, at the earliest.”

Be more patient-friendly

“It is not a pleasant experience seeing patients and their caretakers going through a harrowing time on the PGI campus. I feel the hospital work environment needs to be more people-friendly. People come from different parts of the region, some without any local contacts. Some have no idea how to go about their way. An effort needs to be made to change the professional outlook which is expected to automatically shift the personal outlook.”

Small-town mentality

Appalled at the level of small town mentality at play in the city, Dr Talwar said, “Small town mentality was very reflective in the functioning of the PGI in many ways. Instead of settling small issues across the table, they were made big and often carried on to the streets. Everyone knows everyone in this town and negative forces always manage to find a way for voicing their differences by sensationalising even minor issues.”

IT underutilised

The capacity of IT has not been utilised fully. We started work on the project. However, the size indicates that it is not an easy job because there are hardly any examples even at the national level.

Limited research work

“PGI is providing excellent health care facilities for public in the entire region including Punjab, Haryana, J& and parts of Uttar Pradesh. There, however, has been very poor work on account of innovation in the field of healthcare. Asked where PGI was still lacking, he said PGI still lacked in the field of Medical Oncology(cancer).

Media medicine ‘joke’

“Media medicine is one of the biggest jokes I have experienced at the PGI. I very often find big news splashed across newspaper pages over claims that are otherwise trivial. In the field of medicine, any research work that makes it to the reputed medical journals is worth taking notice of. Journalists need to verify the accomplishments on ground before going ahead with mere claims. I don’t have the solution. However, there needs to be a check on the tall claims made by a section of doctors before publishing them. These need to be verified with the concerned authorities, first”, was his advice to the media.


  • UT Administration needs to enhance networking in local healthcare. Dispensaries need to be connected to government hospitals which should provide information about patients turning up at PGI. This would not only reduce the PGI’s burden but also enhance quality of service.
  • Professional jealousies are a very unfortunate reality of the organisation. Envy can lead to better findings. However, jealousy has only negative connotations.
  • Small-town mentality and people flouting “big connections” is a dampener on PGI’s functioning.
  • PGI lacks on account of faculty for Medical Oncology (Cancer).
  • Media must verify claims of “path-breaking” research by certain doctors. All such research finds mention in reputed medical journals.
  • Easing the heavy patient load is a major issue. But nothing will change until the associated facilities in government hospitals and dispensaries are made part of a common plan.
  • PGI is doing excellent work in providing healthcare facilities, However, it fares very poorly on account of medical innovation.
  • The capacity of IT in enhancing medical facilities has also not been fully utilised.
  • Social organisations and even individuals too have not contributed in a manner they could have to enhancing medical services. Certain organisations, including DAV and Khalsa institutions, have contributed to the field of education and could join in the health sector as well.
  • There is need to make the work environment more patient-friendly



Fraudster held for posing as Addl Civil Judge
Also enacted kidnap drama with NRI friend
Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service
Currency and fake visiting cards recovered from the accused in Rajpura on Sunday
Currency and fake visiting cards recovered from the accused in Rajpura on Sunday. A Tribune photograph

Rajpura, April 24
The “kidnapping” of an Additional Civil Judge and an NRI from Canada had sent the Rajpura police in a tizzy. For the past four days, the police had been trying to identify the accused, only to find out today that the kidnapping had been fabricated.

One of the accused in the case had been posing as the Additional Civil Judge, Ropar, for the past five years and had been duping Bathinda residents.

The imposter has been identified as 31-year-old Satinder Singh who stays with his wife, two children and mother at Lehra Dhoorkoot village in Bathinda.

The police had to form eight teams comprising 48 policemen after relatives and friends of the Civil Judge from Bathinda and officials of the Canadian Embassy demanded immediate action in the kidnapping of NRI Shagandeep Singh.

The police raided hotels in Chandigarh, Delhi and Ambala, besides enquiring about the whereabouts of the NRI and the judge at nearby airports. The case was solved when the police found out that Satinder was an imposter and was helping the NRI “miss” his flight as Shagandeep had fallen in love with a girl and did not want to go to Canada where his parents stay.

Rajpura DSP Manmohan Sharma said Satinder would call up the police or the administration and get the work of people done. Posing as the Additional Civil Judge, he would call the area SHO, DSP or any other senior functionary to get work done.

He had pocketed several lakhs from village residents and some relatives, claiming he had bought a shoe showroom in Sector 17, Chandigarh, for Rs 50 crore and it would get him another Rs 40 crore after he sold it. He offered huge earnings in lieu of investment on the venture.

On April 20, Satinder helped Shagandeep miss his flight and enacted a kidnapping drama. The duo left for Chandigarh on the pretext of shopping and called up a friend at 9 am, saying that some persons had assaulted them. They switched off their mobile phones and abandoned the car in Rajpura and went to Delhi by train.

After leaving their valuables and important documents in a hotel, they went to Chennai by air. They then returned to Karnal and said the kidnappers had released them near a hotel. Police parties were dispatched to Karnal from Rajpura and they were brought to Rajpura where their statements were recorded. However, the police grew suspicious when their statements did not corroborate.

Meanwhile, even the owners of the showroom in Chandigarh had to show their ownership papers and had a tough time establishing that they did not have any link with Satinder.

The police has booked the accused under Sections 193, 199, 420 and 120-B, IPC. The police has recovered foreign currency, among other things, from a hotel in Delhi.


city Beautiful, but not entertaining
With Chandigarh failing to keep pace with other cities, many of which have jumped on the modernisation bandwagon offering a variety of entertainment avenues, The Tribune reporter Pradeep Sharma speaks to a cross-section of city residents to know if the scrapped mega projects would have pushed the city into the metro league

City is behind the times 

Though numerically the young population may be growing by leaps and bounds with an upswing in the local economy due to retail revolution and service sector, over half a century after it came into being, the ‘City Beautiful’, as it is cliched, continues to offer little in terms of entertainment options for visitors and residents alike.

The city residents playing host to guests from metros invariably cut a sorry figure, with Chandigarh failing to keep pace with other cities, many of which have jumped on the modernisation bandwagon offering a variety of entertainment avenues.

With mega projects, including the Theme-cum-Amusement Park and Film City being scrapped, the city residents and visitors will have to content with a limited number of entertainment options for the time being. In fact, the city has nothing much to offer except for the most-visited tourist spots, the artificial Sukhna Lake; Nek Chand’s “waste material wonder”-the Rock Garden; the much-touted Asia’s largest Rose Garden and the shopping plaza in Sector 17.

“For the younger generation, Chandigarh does not offer much. I am sick and tired of seeing the same so-called tourist spots. In fact, night life is virtually missing in the city,” complains Sumit Sharma, an IT professional, who shifted from Bangalore to Chandigarh recently.

And if the snail’s pace at which the new tourists spots are being developed by the UT administration is any indication, Chandigarh will continue to be a nightmare for visitors looking up to spice up their visits, particularly at night.

A close look at the development projects undertaken over the last few decades reveal that no major project has been added to push the city into the metro league. For years, the city had a cinema hall-turned-multiplex in Fun Republic at Mani Majra. In the last couple of years, it has managed to add two more shopping-mall-cum-multiplex-the DT Mall and the Centra Mall.

With Chandigarh emerging as the gateway to the picturesque hilly state of Himachal Pradesh and the commercial hub of North India, the limited choice offered by Chandigarh fall well short of expectations of the younger generation.

IT destination

The need for more entertainment avenue is being felt in Chandigarh as it has a potential to emerge as a major IT destination in North India. With established IT cities such as Bengaluru and Hyderabad bursting at its seams, Chandigarh could develop into a major IT hub in the Tier-II cities. With the Punjab and Haryana High Court giving its nod to acquiring land for Phase III of the IT Park, more IT companies are expected to begin operations here. The high spending power of the IT professionals is expected to create the need for more entertainment options in the city.

Centre of service sector

Being the capital of two states--Punjab and Haryana--besides being the administrative headquarters of a Union Territory, Chandigarh remains the first choice of the service sector, including banks, insurance companies, hotels and hospitality ventures. Given a comparatively higher standards of living than rest of the country, major names in the service sector prefer to set up shop here. But where are the entertainment options?

Retail hub

While Chandigarh does not have any production of its own, it has emerged as the major retail hub over the years. Given its strategic location, Chandigarh gets its retail clientele in fashion accessories, readymade garments and gift items even from neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir.

Youth and pub culture

Since the retail sector, service sector and the IT industry are youth-driven, more youth spells good news for the entertainment sector. That is perhaps the reason that the number of pubs, eating joints and discotheques are on the rise in the recent past. But where is entertainment in the city? To start with night life needs to be spiced up, particularly on the weekends to cater to the growing entertainment needs of the younger generation. As of now, there are only four 24 hour eating joints in the city — night food street opposite the PGI, and at Hotels Mount View in Sector 10, Taj in Sector 17 and Aroma in Sector 22.

Entertainment projects which went bust Amusement park

Proposed to be spread over an area of over 73 acres, the Amusement Park at Sarangpur was supposed to bring best of entertainment options to the city. The CBI is currently probing the scrapped project after allegations that the highest bidder was ignored to favour Unitech Limited.

Film City

Promoted by Parsvnath Developers over 30 acres at Sarangpur, the project was aimed at turning the city into a cinematic tourism destination. The project which was marred in controversy from the beginning has been scrapped by the UT administration and is currently being inquired into by the CBI.


The world-class aquarium project has reportedly been postponed indefinitely as the original area of 2.92 acres seems to be less as against 10 acres suggested by the consultants. Now the UT administration wants dolphins in the new aquarium whenever it comes up.


We need entertainment: Students


Should Chandigarh have more entertainment avenues including amusement park, film city and shoppin malls cum multiplexes? Send your views at openhouse@tribunemail.com



Liver transplant
‘Hullabaloo over danger to life of patient unfounded’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
The hullabaloo over danger to the life of the patient who recently underwent transplant at PGI is unfounded, says Prof Arunanshu Behera, who headed the team of three doctors which conducted the hospital’s first-ever liver transplant.

Talking to The Tribune here today, Dr Behera said, “Liver transplant is not a common operation and the family of Vijay Khurana, the 44-year-old resident of Saharanopur in Uttar Pradesh, had shown their satisfaction. The surgery has complications which we are well aware of and are waiting with our fingers crossed because we cannot say anything abut the final outcome.”

“I am very pained to hear that an exemplary effort by a team of doctors was marred by unnecessary controversy. Just to put the record straight, we had taken every permission required from the central government,” said outgoing PGI Director Dr KK Talwar. “Showing others down is an unfortunate reality in our organisation,” he added.

Said Dr Behera, “Our core team included Dr Lileshwar Kaman and Dr Hasal Rajekar, all experts in surgery. We had drafted and executed a meticulous plan dexterously. The first two weeks after liver transplant are very hectic for the patient and doctors. The post-operation complications are unpleasant,” he said.

“Liver transplant is a complicated operation because it involves integrating the liver with other body functions. For the first few days, everything seemed normal. But then complications set in, which is not unusual. We will persist with out effort to conduct such operations in the future. We may face failures. But we will persevere and not give up on our efforts,” said Dr Behara, who had also trained in the United Kingdom. “I can answer all professional answers related to surgery and the post-operative complications. However, I have no answer to the pettiness being shown by some in blowing the issue out of proportion,” added Dr Behera.



Used surgical items
PGI likely to order vigilance probe
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
Taking serious note on the reported sale of used “drainage cannula” a plastic pipe used in cardiac surgery, by a chemist at the PGI, the authorities are likely to mark a vigilance inquiry into the incident.

PGI director Prof KK Talwar convened a meeting on the issue this morning and directed the officials concerned to initiate appropriate action. Dr Surjit Singh, officiating Additional Director (Administration) said the matter was being forwarded to the committee looking after the commercial sites and the committee would decide the next course of action.

It was on Tuesday that staff members at the Advance Cardiac Centre noticed that the cannula bought by attendants of 70-year-old Surjit Singh from a chemist shop on the PGI campus was a used one. It was stated to be the property of the PGI kept after sterilisation for the surgery of poor patients. The authorities have to look into various issues, sources said. It is yet to be established that the cannula was the same which was sold by the chemist and if it is proved so, then its source of pilferage has to be traced for which a proper inquiry by the vigilance department of the PGI was needed, the sources said.



Protest forces police action
Two more held for attack on family
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
Two youngsters were arrested by the Chandigarh Police for their involvement in an attack on a family at Sector 40 here today. They were identified as Vivek Vashisht of Sector 41 and Inder of Sector 38.

This followed a protest by members of the family, along with their neighbours, in front of the Sector 39 police station here. The youngsters allegedly attacked Amandeep Singh over a minor issue on Wednesday night.

Other members of the family- Taranjit Singh, Jasmine Kaur and Sukhwinder Kaur- were also beaten up when they came to rescue Amandeep. A minor was nabbed by the police a day after the incident.

Today the family of Amandeep, along with their neighbours and relatives, gheraoed the police station, alleging inaction on the part of the police. They reached the police station around 12 noon and demanded the arrest of the other culprits.

“We were attacked three times by miscreants as they came again and again and pelted us with stones,” alleged the family. Following this, the police arrested Vivek and Inder while three others involved in the incident were yet to be nabbed.



Residents support dowry victim
Block road near the house of Panchkula SP
Tribune News Service

Monika, along with her father, shows her marriage album
Monika, along with her father, shows her marriage album. Tribune photos: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, April 24
Irked over the indifferent attitude of police officials in a dowry case, hundreds of residents of Sector 15 gheraoed the police chowki of the area and blocked the road near the residence of the Panchkula Superintendents of Police in Sector 14 here this evening.

Raj Kumar, father of the girl, while talking to the media said his daughter Monika was married to Amit, a resident of Haripur village in Sector 4, on November 1, 2009. He said he had spent about Rs 5 lakh in the ceremony. Soon after the marriage Raj Kumar gave Rs 35,000 to Amit when he demanded a motorcycle from him.

He said Amit further asked Monika to demand Rs 2 lakh from him, as Amit, an electrician, wanted to purchase a shop. He said when his daughter refused to bring more money Amit started beating her up. He alleged that they had lodged a complaint in the Sector 15 police chowki, but the police did not take any action against Amit. The case was registered on April 12 only after the court’s intervention. However, the police failed to arrest Amit. DSP Iqbal Kaur and SHO of the Sector 14 police station immediately reached the site and assured them of action in the case.



Labourer falls off building, dies
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, April 24
A 23-year-old labourer was killed after he fell from an under construction building at Dhakoli village here this afternoon. The victim was identified as Nane Ram from UP.

The investigating officer said the incident took place when the victim was working on the seventh floor of the building. He slipped and fell on the ground when he was checking the machine.

The labourers working at the site took him to the Civil Hospital, Panchkula, where he was declared dead on arrival.

The police official said the body had been kept at the mortuary and the postmortem examination would be conducted tomorrow. Inquest proceedings have been initiated into the matter.



Overloaded rickshaws, but who cares?

Despite police orders and media pictures and reports on the violation of safety norms for schoolchildren, it is a common sight to see overloaded rickshaws and autorickshaws ferrying students in the tricity. Last week, a Tribune correspondent stopped alongside a rickshaw carrying students in the southern belt. Two children had climbed the roof of the rickshaw and were yelling. The rickshaw-puller could be seen urging the relentless children to behave themselves and get inside. (See photo)

As elusive as ‘don’

The treetop protester Avtar Singh Nagla is not less than a “don” when it comes to the issue of taking him into custody. If the filmy don was elusive and the police of 11 countries could not catch him, Nagla is wanted by the police of three states. Nagla has been on the treetop for over 10 days. He climbed the tree at Nagla village near Zirakpur on April 15 and made it ample clear that he will remain there until Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal visited him and heard him out in a land sale matter.

It remains to be seen if someone will resolve the issue. Even the public does not find it funny any more. The crowd of curious onlookers is thinning every day.

Public darbar losing relevance

UT Administrator Shivraj Patil’s Monday public darbar is losing relevance. Today’s darbar (April 25) was cancelled due to some “unavoidable circumstances”. Patil’s preoccupation with official engagements seems to be more important than redressing the grievances of people. The cancellation of darbar -- started by former Punjab Governor and UT Administrator SF Rodrigues -- has become frequent over the past few months. Patil also holds the additional charge of Rajasthan Governor.

In seems that the interaction of the new UT Adviser KK Sharma, who is inclined to replicate the Bhagidari system (government-public partnership) of the Delhi Government, will have to wait following the cancellation of the darbar.

IPL woes

During the current IPL series being played at the PCA Stadium, complete lack of coordination was visible as organisers of the event failed to put in place adequate number of medical teams in all blocks. Most of the teams of the state health department were given permission only for gate numbers 4, 5 and 14. A member of the team said fewer distribution of medical teams could result in a problem in case of an emergency.

— Contributed by Sanjeev Bariana, Rajiv Bhatia, Pradeep Sharma and Rajmeet Singh



Open house response
Panchkula needs a planned bus service

Panchkula has grown manifold in the recent past in terms of population and even the area spread. There is a natural increase in the requirements for the residents, including markets, hospitals and other facilities.

Residents in sectors beyond Sector 23, in particular, face a big handicap of reachong their homes in case they are dropped at the bus stand.

The problem is very enhanced during odd hours when people are faced with the problem of no connectivity to their residences. Very often they are faced with absence of rickshaws and autorickshaws.

The state government needs to work out a plan for inter-sector connectivity using a bus service. Besides working out the travel routes meticulously, the administration needs to make use of mini-buses on inteior routes, particularly on B-roads.

Besides putting in place an efefcetive system for buses, the administration/ government needs to keep a check on the cabs and autorickshaws duping the general public and making fast money.

It has also been found that on the main roads, the cab operators give preference to travellers to Chandigarh. This has left the local passengers at their whims and fancies.

BB Singal, vice-president, municipal council, Panchkula

Passengers’ plight

Haryana Roadways is not running any local bus from Panchkula to Chandigarh. As a result of this, passengers have to face a lot of inconvenience. All local buses plying between Panchkula and Chandigarh start from Zirakpur and other nearby places.

When these buses reach the Panchkula bus stand, these are generally full to capacity, especially in the morning hours, between 7 am and 10 am. Passengers, mainly employees and students, have a tough time in boarding these buses.

One can see a large number of such passengers waiting for local buses at the Panchkula bus stand. Trans-Ghaggar sectors are the worst affected ones because of poor bus service.

Keeping in view the hardships being faced by the passengers of Panchkula, it is suggested that there should be at least 10-15 minutes’ bus service for Chandigarh, originating from the Panchkula bus stand.

Also, Haryana Roadways is not running any bus from Panchkula to PGI, GMCH-32, GMSH-16 and university campus, which are frequently visited places by a number of people.

Direct buses should be started from Panchkula to these places. To meet all these requirements, more buses have to be introduced to fulfil the needs of Panchkula residents.

— VK Kapur, Panchkula

Composite project

Public transport system here needs to be thought about as a composite project, not only for the tricity, but also adjoining townships of Kharar, Zirakpur and Banur and a little far as Dera Bassi, Kurali and Morinda.

A master plan is the need of the hour, which takes into consideration the entire area spread as a single unit because there are threads inter-linking all these habitations. A detailed technical surveys need to be done for preparing a master plan.

The concept for a common master plan gains importance in the context that Chandigarh is central to life of the public in the neighbouring townships, particularly for education, healthcare and employment.

In fact, at the moment there is a sizable movement towards important destinations in different fields, that have emerged in the neighbouring towns of Mohali and Panchkula, in particular.

The issue involves different wings of the engineering and administration from the three governments of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.

Instead of a slipshod approach, as is seen in routine, there is need is to take issue up with the Centre for putting in place a unified team, that will plan for the entire area, because any individual effort will yield partial results.

— SK Aggarwal, retired Joint Director, Technical Education, Punjab, and assistant professor, highway engineering

Mini-buses needed

Public transport in Panchkula is, literally, non-existent. It is a blot on the face of the so-called 'Paris of India', as claimed by so many politicians. Ironically, Paris has got the world’s best public transport system.

Mini-buses are need of the hour. These buses should run on the B-roads within sectors. Among many other loopholes, in a small example, there is no link between sectors and the mini-secretariat.

Public also faces a great difficulty in reaching the General Hospita;l, Sector 6, from different parts. Commuters have to depend on overloaded three-wheelers, which flout all traffic rules, putting the commuters to great risk.

The administration should wake up to the needs of the public and try to develop the public transport system through public-private participation.

— Anish Sharma, Panchkula

See it in totality

The office related to the public transport in Panchkula needs to be made more accountable. It is unfair to blame the office of the buses alone. The administration, senior officers in particular, cannot wash their hands off checking the ground realities and making amends, in case needed.

While we keep on blaming the government for not providing us the required services, we citizens need to ask our officers and even municipal councillors, MLAs and MPs as to what they had done to ensure public convenience in travelling. The transport system needs to be seen in totality and everyone needs to be made accountable.

Col PK Verma (retd), Panchkula



GMCH extends 30 pc discount on medicines, surgical items
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
The patients visiting Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, can expect some relief as far as the cost of treatment is concerned.

The hospital administration has decided to extend a discount of up to 30 per cent on the medicines and surgical items on the pattern of PGI at chemist shops situated on the hospital premises.

As of now, the chemists at the shops in the hospital building are giving a discount of 10 per cent on verbal instructions from the authorities.

This was not a condition in their agreement at the time of tendering for shops. There were, however, frequent complaints that chemists at the GMCH tried to avoid discount to patients of their attendants.

The GMCH authorities have decided to open a new chemist shop at level one of Block D. There were already two chemist shops in the hospital.

GMCH Director-Principal Dr Raj Bahadur said the new contract with the chemists would contain the condition that the patients would be entitled to a discount of up to 30 per cent on the pattern of PGI chemist shops.

At the PGI, chemist shops offer 15 per cent discount on branded medicines while a discount of 30 per cent is given on generic medicines and surgical items.

It is another matter that many of these chemists are found manipulating the maximum retail price on some items to fleece the patients last month.



1,200 students honoured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
Around 32 students were awarded roll of honour and the same number of students were awarded college colours during the 38th annual prize distribution of the local GGDSD College here today.

Upkar Krishan Sharma, president of the college governing body, gave away prizes to at least 1,200 outstanding students. Around 19 students were given special awards for the noble gesture of giving away their scholarship money to needy students of the college. The college also honoured Shivani Narwal, a student of BCom III, for having displayed an exemplary honesty. Dr Amit Mahindroo was honoured for having completed his doctorate.

While addressing students on the occasion, Upkar Krishan Sharma congratulated all prize winners on their achievement. He said “corruption, crime and anti-social elements were weakening the fabric and backbone of our country. We all must look upon Anna Hazare as a role model and raise voice against the elements that are posing an impediment in the progress of the country as a whole. The need is to contribute constructively in the process of social development.”

He urged students to develop a sense of nationalism and patriotism. Earlier, principal Prof AC Vaid read out annual report of the college and highlighted the achievements.

As part of the laudable achievement of the college this year, the college became the first to receive a grant under the FIST Programme - 2010 among PU colleges. The FIST Advisory Board sanctioned a grant of Rs 70 lakh for 11 departments of the college. The programme was attended by ex-Governor and retired Lt Gen B K N Chibber and Dr Jatinder Bhatia, finance secretary of the college governing body.



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