Escorts Couldn’t Keep Dr. Trehan- Clash of Interests or Ego Wars

I would have skipped this topic if Krishnan, one time potluck friend, had not crashed on this with me today morning. Escorts meant Dr. Trehan till it was with Nanda. I don’t know if Escorts Hospital became a brand name in heart surgery because of Dr. Naresh Trehan or Dr. Trehan became a legendary heart specialist because of Escorts. Escorts Hospital was basically started as a charitable institute of Nanda Group (HP and Rajan) owning Escorts Industries in Faridabad as its flagship company.

Unfortunately, Nanda got the charitable institute transformed into a company and then sold it to Fortis group of hospitals, a subsidiary of Ranbaxy, the reputed global drug manufacturing company. Naturally, Fortis didn’t have any personal rapport or full understanding with Dr. Trehan as Nandas had. Analjit Singh perhaps thought to treat him just as one more executive working for Fortis. And now Analjit Singh has sacked Dr. Trehan, the executive director of Escorts Heart Institute, charging Dr. Trehan for misappropriating the Escorts Hospital resources for his own Rs 1,000 crore Medicity planned in Gurgaoan.

But whatever might have been the reasons; Fortis would not have taken the drastic actions against Dr. Trehan in this manner and allowed so much of media coverage. It will damage the brand image of Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre in the eyes of people at large. Dr. Trehan has become a well-known celebrity figure of the capital and perhaps of the country as one of the best heart surgeons. The whole episode must have hurt the sentiments of a lot many people like me who have been his patients. What I experienced was unique. Dr. Trehan maintained a personal touch that normally lacks. I found a similar doctor in Dr. Devi Shetty whom I met in my HM days. Both the doctors did consider the financial aspects of patients too, as they had that authority negotiated initially with their masters. That loss due the discretionary power of these doctors might have created a sore point with pure industrialists owning the hospital.

Unfortunately, it seems to be an ego war. Analjit doesn’t want Dr. Trehan to run the institute the way he was doing that for so long. Dr. Trehan perhaps does not want to give up so easily an institute that he has built as its main architect.

Actually, soon after the take over of Escorts Hospital by Fortis or almost near around the same time, Dr. Trehan has announced his mega project of medicity. Fortis wished to be a major player in that because of its financial strength. Dr, Trehan wished to get into entrepreneurship independently and make a mark like some other technocrat. He didn’t agree to Fortis terms. And so is this problem. But Fortis would have handled more smartly.

On Tuesday May 22, 2007, as per the media report, Cardiologist Dr Naresh Trehan’s name has been officially taken off the list of doctors working at the Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre (EHIRC). New patients wanting to be admitted to the hospital under Trehan’s care were turned away on Monday by the EHIRC management.

On Wednesday May 23, 2007 as reported in media, a case of trespassing and vandalism was registered today against cardiologist Naresh Trehan for allegedly entering Escorts Hospital forcibly.

An ad issued in the public interest by EHIRCL and published May 23, 2007 in the national media is really bad in taste. It blames Dr. Trehan on many counts.

I get reminded of a similar situation. Dr. Devi Shetty who left BM Birla Heart Institute of Kolkata had established his own Heart Hospitals, and running them well.

I wish some respected persons from the industry close to both the parties would have mediated.
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