It was reported that Dr Srinivas quit due to lack of infrastructure and facilities at Warangal’s MGM hospital, but senior officials dismissed the allegations.

MGM hospital
Coronavirus Controversial Thursday, July 30, 2020 - 09:38

An unprecedented resignation by the Superintendent of Telangana’s Mahatma Gandhi Memorial (MGM) Hospital in Warangal, one of the premier government hospitals in the state, has triggered a row and raised several concerns, as it comes amid a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in the district. Dr Srinivas Rao, Superintendent of MGM, resigned from the administrative position earlier this week. The Hospital Superintendent’s tasks include overseeing medical and health affairs in the hospital, addressing public health concerns besides monitoring and regulating staff. 

Dr Srinivas had written to Director of Medical Education (DME) Dr Ramesh Reddy stating that he is resigning from his post, as he is unable to discharge his duties, given certain health ailments that he was suffering from. While the Superintendent cited health grounds for his resignation, reports in local media suggested that lack of facilities had left the hospital overburdened and the staff of the hospital including doctors and paramedics had been falling prey to the coronavirus, which led him to resign. 

On Tuesday alone, Warangal Urban reported 138 new cases. The trend of rising cases from the last one week suggests that the district was becoming a hotspot for the virus after Hyderabad. Despite this, the district only has the MGM Hospital to offer treatment. Besides admitting patients from within Warangal Urban limits, being a big medical care center in the region, the hospital is admitting patients from neighbouring districts such as Warangal Rural, Mahbubabad and Jangaon, leading to extra burden on its staff. 

It is also reported that Dr Srinivas was disappointed with developments following an attack on a PG woman doctor, allegedly by a personnel assistant of a ruling TRS MLA, as the incident had raised questions about his capability to ensure the safety of his staff. 

However, higher officials insisted that the resignation of Dr Srinivas was purely due to "health reasons". A senior official from the Directorate of Medical Education (DME) said that Dr Srinivas was already on medical leave as he was not doing well and quarantined himself after a family member tested positive for the coronavirus.

When TNM reached out to DME Dr Ramesh, he said, "Citing health reasons, he (the Superintendent) said that he was not able to continue in the position and asked to be relieved from the post. The resignation was sent to the government, and a decision will be taken.”

The Director also denied the allegations of poor infrastructure, saying, “There is no question of lack of infrastructure and facilities. MGM, being one of the major teaching hospitals, has an adequate number of ventilators, oxygen and all the infrastructure required."

The Director rubbished the media reports stating that they had no rationale.

When asked about allegations of 'political or external pressure' on the Superintendent following the attack on the doctor, Dr Ramesh Reddy said, "He has not mentioned any such reasons for his resignation. He appears to be unwell and he cited the health condition as the reason."

A senior officer has been given temporary charge of the post in MGM Warangal. Earlier, Nizamabad Government Hospital Superintendent Dr M Nageshwar Rao quit his administrative post  as the government took a serious note of irregularities in dispatching a COVID-19 dead body as there was reported breach of standard operating procedure (SOP).

Meanwhile, Telangana Health Minister Eatela Rajender on Tuesday conducted a review meeting with officials of Warangal district and those surrounding it, in the backdrop of rise in cases.

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