Trouble at Escorts hospital over removing top doctor


New Delhi : Tension prevailed at the premier Escorts hospital here Saturday as pioneering cardiologist Naresh Trehan was prevented by the hospital management from entering, a day after they removed him from the post of executive director, even as his patients rallied behind him and protested the management move.

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Trehan, a pioneer in minimal invasive cardiac surgery who claims to have done 50,000 surgeries, was stopped from entering the Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre, an institution that he founded in 1988 after returning from the US, around noon. But he managed to force his way into the premises.

He was removed late Friday as executive director, a position he had held for 20 years, for his "conflicting interest" in an upcoming multi-billion rupee healthcare hub, Medicity, in Gurgaon.

Fortis Healthcare Limited managing director S.M. Singh later said the hospital had registered a police complaint for misbehaviour and vandalism against the cardiologist and allowed him limited entry into the hospital.

"He has been given limited entry to the hospital and operation theatres till all the patients registered under him are treated," Singh told reporters. Escorts, was acquired by Ranbaxy-promoted Fortis Healthcare Limited in September 2005.

"We have filed a case against Trehan at the Okhla police station for what he did in the morning," said Singh.

Meanwhile, a close aide of Trehan told IANS: "Trehan is still in the hospital and carrying out a series of operations. He will be free only after 8 in the evening."

Earlier, expressing concern for his patients, Trehan had said his job was to take care of patients. "Since early morning the relatives of patients on whom major surgeries had to be done were calling me."

Singh had said, "We have closed our relation with Dr. Trehan effective from Friday."

"There was a clear conflict of interest and we have been persuading him not to do so for the last two years. When nothing happened, we had to close the relationship," said Singh, adding that the move was because "we had to give some respect to our shareholders".

Trehan is now focusing on the Rs.10 billion-Medicity, in which he is reported to have a personal stake. The healthcare hub, coming up along the lines of Dubai Health City, is expected to be the largest such centre in South Asia.

However, Trehan continues to be a 10 percent shareholder in Escorts.