Renowned Indian American surgeon Dr Anil Nanda has been removed from his post as head of the Department of Neurosurgery at Rutgers' medical colleges in New Jersey, US, amid allegations of performing ‘ghost surgeries’, the university announced on Friday, 8 April.
Ghost surgeries refer to surgeons conducting surgeries on another surgeon’s patient with mutual agreement and unbeknownst to the patient, who is under anesthesia.
The university said in a statement that Dr Nanda has been relieved from his positions as chair of the Departments of Neurosurgery at New Jersey Medical School and Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and as Chief of the Neurosurgical Services at University Hospital and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.
The surgeon will be on paid administrative leave as a faculty member until an independent law firm concludes investigations, as per nj.com.
Robert Johnson, Dean of the New Jersey Medical School and Interim Dean of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, made the call to relive Dr Anand of his duties on charges that the university has “lost confidence in Dr Nanda’s ability to serve in his administrative leadership roles”.
Johnson said that the steps taken were necessary to “to meet the needs of the neurosurgery departments, their patients, faculty, and staff”.
'Unjustified and Outrageous': Nanda's Lawyers
However, Dr Nanda’s attorneys called the university’s decisions ‘unjustified and outrageous’, adding that they will “aggressively defend” the surgeon’s reputation, reported nj.com.
“The ham-fisted actions by New Jersey Medical School and Robert Wood Johnson Medical School are completely unjustified and outrageous,” said Michael Critchley and Amy Luria of Critchley, Kinum & Luria in Roseland.
He said that Dr Nanda has cooperated with the investigations and has discredited the baseless allegations against him.
“Today’s actions, in violation of clear public policy, are yet another act of retaliation taken by those who are and have been trying to silence Dr Nanda. Dr Nanda will aggressively take action to protect his reputation.”
Dr Nanda had joined Rutgers University in 2018 after he was demoted from Chairman to Professor at Louisiana Medical School’s department of neurosurgery in Shreveport the previous year.
(With inputs from nj.com)