Media Cell & Protocol Division headed by medical practitioner Dr. Aarti Vij
New Delhi, Sept. 27 (Delhi Crown): The new Director of Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Dr. M Sriniwas has directed all his employees not to interact/speak with the media regarding the day-to-day functioning of the Institute.
In a circular dated Sept. 24, the AIIMS Director said that only the “designated official” will speak to the media.
The new Director, however, didn’t name the designated official.
“It is brought to the notice of all faculties/officers/employees of AIIMS that only designated official will speak with the media after approval from the competent authority,” said the office memorandum signed by AIIMS Chief Administrative Officer Deo Nath Sah.
The office memorandum has been marked to all Chiefs of Centres, all Heads of Departments/Sections/Units, all faculty/officers/employees, the Personal Secretary to Director/Dean/Additional Director (Administration)/Medical Superintendent/Deputy Secretary/CAO etc.
Till date Dr. Aarti Vij, a medical practitioner, is the chairperson of the Media Cell & Protocol Division of the medical institute. Strangely, it has come to notice that several officers with media background and hired at AIIMS for carrying out the day-to-day media related work have been posted in other departments, while those trained as doctors are assigned the work of Media and Public Relations (PR).
Usually, the media personnel on the health beat from various media organisations in the national capital fail to evoke any response from Dr. Aarti Vij regarding the anomalies found at AIIMS.
The circular from the new Director assumes significance in the wake of certain anomalies at the prestigious institute meant for medical treatment of VVIPS and VIPS, including the Prime Minister and union cabinet ministers, besides the general public at large.
Only a couple of weeks ago, the Delhi-based medical institute had attracted bad Press for poor quality of food being served to the resident doctors.
Four of the seven food samples of chicken curry, paneer and chutney collected by the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) from the mess at AIIMS reportedly failed the food safety standards.
A member of the AIIMS’ Resident Doctors Association (RDA) was quoted as saying – “This matter is not new. Many doctors have raised the issue of sub-standard food quality in the mess. They have also sent us pictures of cockroaches and pests in their food. We have also raised this matter with the administration, but no action was taken. This is a major health hazard, we could not do much during the Covid-19 pandemic because where else would doctors eat,”.
Later, the AIIMS administration had directed that messes in hostel number 7 and a cafeteria in hostel number 5 be shut down.
The Resident Doctors’ Association also claimed that despite the FSSAI directing the hostel mess to shut down on August 10 after an inspection, the mess reopened with no improvement to the food quality.
In the last week of August, several pictures of worms in cooked food, rats roaming around in cooking areas, fungal infestation in vegetables such as onions and potatoes, unclean utensils and trash lying close to food items and ingredients started doing the rounds on social media, after which the FSSAI inspected the premises on August 25.