Indian Medical Association Telangana elections today, many term it undemocratic


Hyderabad: The Indian Medical Association’s Telangana state branch will hold elections on Sunday but many doctors are calling it undemocratic, unethical, stage-managed and a game of musical chairs.

Bitter fighting between the factions is being seen on social media platforms and Whatsapp groups.

 

About 17,000 doctors are members of the TS IMA but only 370 elected state members can vote for the posts. The by-laws of the state IMA restrict  the election only to a few.

Dr T. Kripal Singh, professor and head of the department, forensic medicine and toxicology at Gandhi Medical College and Hospital, said it was “very shameful” that doctors are indulging in such politics. Dr Singh said: “The TS IMA elections are worse than the GHMC elections. Instead of promoting co-operation among the members there are a few who have divided the members into groups. Only these members have the right to stand for elections and vote,”

 

“A primary member of the IMA can contest the central IMA elections but they cannot contest the TS IMA polls. This is atrocious. What has the present body done during the pandemic for the people of the state? They allowed private hospitals to loot people. Has anyone from the IMA uttered a word against this ‘Corona loot’? Why is such a body being allowed to hold elections,” Dr Singh said, adding, “The fraternity is suffering because of them. What is there for the young aspiring medical students of the state.”

 

Many doctors have written to the government asking it to stop these elections.

Dr Sanjiv Singh Yadav, secretary of the state IMA, said, “There are faults and they need to be rectified by electing a new panel. The present body will have to change.” Dr Yadav is contesting for vice president.

Sunday’s elections will be for 85 posts for which there are 270 contestants For president, vice-president and state secretary, two doctors are nominated. For the state working committee, there are 38 contestants for 17 posts. Another 21 persons are contesting for the 12 seats on the central working committee.a

 

This contest has raised a lot of issues which were not highlighted earlier. Former state members and senior doctors said it is a battle for supremacy of one group over another. One group is led by incumbent president Dr Pratap Reddy and another by Dr Ravinder Reddy who is chairman of the TS Medical Council. “The division is not good for the state body,” a doctor said.

Senior doctors who are primary members of the IMA have appealed to the government to not recognise the state IMA body. They demand that members with a standing of 20 to 25 years must be allowed to contest all the posts. Voting must be for all the members. There is also demand for e-voting from senior members. Presently doctors have to go to to head office of IMA Koti to cast their vote.

 

Other senior doctors are upset with the advertisement of IMA panels as that they feel that it demarcates groups which is not good for the fraternity in the long run.

With the Covid-19 pandemic and the existing problems in healthcare, doctors demand that they must be untied and stand as one as they have to strive for health as a priority. Their efforts are defeated with this in-fighting, some doctors feel.



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