KOTTAYAM : Talking truth to power comes with a price. Dr Jinesh P S, a lecturer working on a contract basis at the Forensic Medicine Department, Government Medical College (GMC), Kottayam, learned it the hard way the day he decided to shed silence and blow the whistle. Falling victim to the government’s inefficiency in ensuring the Medical Council of India’s (MCI) recognition to the PG medical course, which he completed from the Kottayam GMC around three years ago, Jinesh made the expose when the recognition of MBBS courses of the same college was steeped in controversy.
The repercussion: He lost his job.
In what appears to be a case of whistleblower victimisation, Jinesh was reportedly asked to resign or face termination from his job soon after news on Kottayam GMC losing MBBS recognition took the media by storm.To avoid a head-on confrontation with the government, he tendered his resignation on October 5. However, the incident came to light when Jinesh poured his mind through a Facebook post on Wednesday.
According to his FB post, college principal Dr Jose Joseph told Jinesh he was going to be terminated for commenting on the recognition row on a TV channel. “It is startling that a person is stripped of his job for raising a genuine issue, that too when an LDF Government is in power,” Jinesh told Express.
“I didn’t say anything against the government. Being a victim myself, I expressed my concerns to a TV channel when the MBBS course was set to lose the MCI recognition.” He said if the recognition issue is not addressed, it will have a severe impact on students and the medical education sector as a whole.
“When the Forensic Medicine Department at Kottayam GMC lost recognition in 2013, we raised the issue before the then principal and the Director of Medical Education (DME). They parrotted the same reply given by Dr Jose Joseph that the college has submitted a compliance report and was awaiting MCI’s response.”However, he said, they haven’t received any recognition even three years after completing the course and were unable to find a job.
“We are still considered as MBBS doctors, though we spent three years for specialisation. This is not an isolated issue. Departments of General Medicine, General Surgery, Radio-diagnosis, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PMR) in Kottayam GMC and several other courses in other GMCs were being run without MCI recognition for the past four-five years. This prompted me to raise my voice,” he said.
Meanwhile, though Express contacted college principal Dr Jose Joseph, he refused to comment on the matter. He hung up the call abruptly after stating, “I don’t know anything (about the issue).”