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Court slams hospitals for hiring unregistered practitioners as doctors

Perturbed by the recent trend of private hospitals cutting corners by employing unregistered medical practitioners as regular doctors...

Perturbed by the recent trend of private hospitals cutting corners by employing unregistered medical practitioners as regular doctors,a city court held that the practice must be checked so that the lives of the unsuspecting patients are not put in danger.

Additional District and Sessions Judge Kamini Lau remarked on the trend as she ordered a probe against the Shanti Mukund Hospital to ascertain whether the hospital also hired doctors not registered with the Medical Council of India (MCI).

The hospital came under court scanner after V K Singh,accused of submitting a fake MCI registration certificate while seeking a job,had approached it for anticipatory bail.

Delhi Medical Council had earlier lodged a complaint against Singh,alleging he submitted a forged registration certificate when he sought employment as a resident medical officer in Shanti Mukund Hospital. Singh,on the other hand,moved court for protection against arrest,contending he had only submitted a copy of diploma of University of Russia and other documents sought by the hospital administration and no registration certificate.

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While deciding Singh’s bail application,the court adopted a macroscopic view of the problem. “This court cannot be oblivious of the fact that a large number of doctors,who do not possess a certificate from the Medical Council,are being unauthorisedly employed by private hospitals on lesser salaries in diverse capacities,but are actually made to work as regular medical practitioners,designated as doctors,” said ASJ Lau.

The court also stated the MCI regulations have been formulated so that lives of the patients are not placed in the hands of unqualified doctors. By granting statutory backing to these rules,it is evident that any person who did not have the requisite registration from the MCI could not be allowed to practice,it further noted.

ASJ Lau observed that Singh and others like him,had applied at Shanti Mukund Hospital in 2006,and had allegedly submitted fake registration certificates at the time of application,for some reason the hospital chose not to verify these certificates.

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“The possibility of the hospital being involved in arm-twisting and exploitation of the applicant and other accused cannot be ruled out and therefore,under these circumstances the role of the hospital administration also requires a probe,” held the court.

Expressing concern,ASJ Lau said: “A thorough investigation is essential in public interest since,on the one hand,a fraud is being played upon the public by the hospital,which is jeopardising the lives of the patients by placing them in the hands of these unregistered doctors,and on the other hand,such institutions are involved in exploitation of such unregistered doctors who are employed by them on meager salaries.”

The court dismissed Singh’s bail plea,considering the gravity of the allegations and sent a copy of the order to the Secretary of the Delhi Medical Council.

First published on: 17-06-2009 at 01:34:31 am
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