Published On : Mon, Apr 8th, 2013

NMC’s Health Department playing with public lives, no action against bogus doctors

Nagpur Today:

“BETTER LATE THAN NEVER” can be understood in many situations, but when it comes playing with public health it’s terrible crime. This is what came to fore when a Government Resolution (GR) was sent to Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s Health Department in 2003. The GR had specifically directed the NMC to crackdown on bogus doctors within its jurisdiction. However, the Health Department authorities, leave alone action against bogus doctors, they did not even read the GR seriously even after 10 years.

The GR had clearly directed that no permission was necessary from Civil Surgeon, District Collector or Police Department to take action against doctors running clinics without proper medical degrees.

HEALTH OFFICER’S POWERS: Approximately 12,000 hospitals or clinics have been registered with NMC’s Health Department. However, it is reliably learnt that more than 12,000 clinics or hospitals are running clandestinely. The slums are bearing the brunt of bogus doctors as they are playing havoc with slum-dwellers. If the NMC authorities concerned read the State Health Ministry’s GR of February 5, 2003 carefully, they have powers to take stringent action against fake doctors, they can investigate the documents by sending them to other government health departments. There is also provision to lodge an FIR against doctors holding bogus degrees. The NMC authorities can act against such doctors if they get complaints even on anonymous complaints. The GR had given powers to NMC’s Health Department to act tough against bogus doctors without permission from Civil Surgeon, District Collector or Police Department. However, no drive was undertaken by the authorities to unearth fake doctors.

LETHARGY: On Wednesday, Kalamna police had arrested a doctor on the basis of a complaint by an NGO. A huge stock of allopathy medicines was found stored in the clinic. The doctor was supposed to be practicing naturopathy. The police wanted to check from the NMC’s Health Department the reality of the degree the doctor possessed. But an officer from the department reached the police station well after 24 hours overlooking the seriousness of the complaint. It was found the doctor did not possess the necessary degree to run the clinic.

NO MEETING: A committee was set up under the chairmanship District Collector whose members are Civil Surgeon, representatives from NMC, Zilla Parishad health departments and police to keep a tab on bogus doctors. However, no meeting was conveyed since last 5 months whereas it is mandatory to hold the meeting every 2 or 3 months. An NMC officer on the terms of anonymity said that the Health Department representative who attended the previous meetings never recommended action against fake doctors. He even refused to accept any bogus doctor running any clinic.