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A Tribune Special
Doctors moonlighting in South India

Punjab pays doctors to bail out colleges during MCI inspections
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

What MCI has to say?

Showing complete helplessness, MCI secretary Dr ARN Setalvad said no action could be taken against the colleges even when it is clear that the teachers shown are not actually teaching but working in government hospitals. “We go by records and in our records, these doctors are teaching in these colleges. Since the college is giving details of the monthly salary being paid by them to these teachers, we presume the teachers are present in the college throughout the year. We cannot police colleges the whole year round. The head count is done by inspectors only on the day of inspection.”

Chandigarh, March 5
A section of Punjab government doctors working for over 10 years are also performing the role of assistant and associate professors in medical colleges in South India. They do not teach. They do not even stay in the college but make fast a quick buck during every inspection of the Medical Council of India in these colleges.

These six doctors, mainly specialising in forensic medicine, pharmacology and physiology are working as medical officers in Talwara, Ropar and Hoshiarpur, Dhuri and Patiala but were also present at places like Karim Nagar, Khannam and Guntur in South Indian states on the day on the MCI inspection.

This illegal practice seems to be on for several years. These doctors have in their experience details given to the MCI through these colleges shown they were working on other posts in other colleges for five to seven years.

One such doctor (name withheld) is shown as associate professor in a medical college in Karimnagar, staying in the staff quarters there and was present in the college during the MCI inspection of April 2008. This doctor has been shown having taught for four years in a medical college in Khannam before joining here. This doctor, however, is posted at Hoshiarpur and has been in Punjab government service since 1994.

Similarly another doctor is employed in the same college as assistant professor but posted in Ropar and is in government service since 1995.

Another doctor is also an associate professor in the college and worked in another college in Karimnagar before joining here. This doctor is posted in Hoshiarpur.

The colleges are also involved in the illegal practice. Faced with acute shortage of faculty medical colleges are known to arrange doctors from anywhere and everywhere on the day of MCI inspection so that there is no hindrance in procuring recognition. Once the inspection is over these “show staff” is allegedly paid some amount per month to use their name in the declaration forms to be submitted to the MCI.

The racket came to light when Punjab government put up the entire list of regular medical officers on the National Rural Health Mission website. The list of the faculty employed in various medical colleges in the state is also on the MCI website. A comparison of the two lists revealed several names complete with the medical council registration numbers, date of births, year of completing MBBS etc of at least six doctors matched! The number however could be much more as these two lists run into several thousands.

The names of doctors on the MCI website were corroborated by the MCI as having been taken from the declaration forms given by the colleges and inspection reports of the MCI teams.

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