Bengaluru: The Indian Medical Association on Tuesday expressed concerns over the induction of Ananthkumar Hegde, who is accused of having assaulted doctors, into the Union cabinet, saying it has sent a “wrong message” to the medical fraternity.
IMA national president Dr KK Aggarwal, in an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said that the medical fraternity was “disturbed” by Mr Hegde’s induction and requested him to take “appropriate revision” in his decision.
Mr Hegde had allegedly assaulted doctors at a private hospital in Sirsi in January, accusing them of not giving proper treatment to his mother.
The CCTV footage of the incident had gone viral. Speaking about the alleged incident and “inaction” on part of the police, Mr Aggarwal said the Sirsi Association of Medical Consultants had filed a complaint at the local court, seeking a fair trial.
“Instead of taking any action against him or getting a fair inquiry done, he has been inducted into the Union cabinet and rewarded instead,” he said.
Pointing out to PM’s remarks about such incidents of violence against medical professionals, by attaching a video link where PM Modi is seen expressing pain about such incidents at an event, with the letter, Mr Aggarwal questioned “Then how come he (Hegde) has been rewarded with a cabinet post?” Mr Hegde was appointed as the Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship during Sunday’s ministry reshuffle.
Noting that “Vedas teaches us seeking forgiveness,” Mr Aggarwal said IMA, the collective consciousness of over three lakh doctors, thought that after taking over as the minister, he would first apologise for his misdeeds to the medical profession.
“But no sign. Further making him the Minster of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has sent another wrong message to society. Is indulging in violence and not apologising the ‘new skill’ to be taught to the entrepreneurs?” he said.
Stating that on the one hand, Suresh Prabhu was shifted on grounds of moral responsibility for train mishaps, but on the other a “tainted man” had been made a minister, the letter said that by inducting ministers like him (Hegde), a wrong message has gone to the professionals, especially the medical fraternity.
“The medical fraternity is disturbed by his induction,” it said and requested PM Modi to take “appropriate revision” in his decision and also to get the incident investigated.
The clipping of a media report with CCTV footage showing Mr Hegde purportedly beating doctors was attached with the letter.