BHU Removes Head of Cardiology After Weeks-Long Hunger Strike

Varanasi, May 26, 2024: The Banaras Hindu University (BHU) administration removed Professor Om Shankar, Head of the Cardiology Department at the Institute of Medical Sciences (IMS-BHU), from his post on Friday. This action follows a two-week hunger strike staged by Dr. Shankar demanding additional beds for the cardiology department in the hospital’s new super speciality block.

According to a notification by the university’s deputy registrar, Dr. Shankar’s unavailability to perform his duties due to the hunger strike necessitated the transfer of the Head of Department (HoD) position. Professor Vikas Agarwal will assume the role with immediate effect until further notice.

Dr. Shankar’s protest aimed to address overcrowding in the existing cardiology department. He reportedly demanded the allocation of more beds from the new super speciality block to accommodate the growing number of patients.

While removing Dr. Shankar from his HoD position, the BHU administration has taken steps to address his concerns. A committee chaired by a former director of AIIMS, New Delhi, has been formed to review bed allocation across the entire BHU hospital system. This committee will focus on optimizing resource allocation for the best possible patient care.

The effectiveness of Dr. Shankar’s removal and the committee’s ability to address the bed shortage remain to be seen.

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