Dept conducts series of sting operations, says has enough proof to nail them; on the shame list is a doctor from JJ Hospital.
The medical education department is done letting errant doctors get away easily. For the first time, it has asked the Maharashtra Medical Council to cancel the licence of 10 doctors attached to government hospitals across the state, including one from JJ Hospital, for practising in private hospitals.
To buttress its case, it has also collected evidence against the doctors through sting operations.
If the council accepts the recommendation, these doctors, who are currently under suspension, will not be allowed to practise at all.
As per a government resolution of 2008-09, doctors from state-run hospitals are not allowed to practise privately, in lieu of which they are granted a monthly non-practice allowance of around 35 percent of the salary. For doctors up to the rank of the assistant professor (drawing a pay of Rs 68,000 a month), the monthly component works out to about Rs 15,000. Many senior doctors from 16 medical colleges attached to government hospitals in the state had for some time been on the watch list of the administration for being in breach of this regulation.
The medical education department received complaints about senior doctors being unavailable at their designated hospitals, following which it formed an eight-member vigilance committee. Members of the panel went undercover and posed as patients at private clinics to gather evidence against these doctors.
Dr Pravin Shingare, director, Directorate of Medical Education and Research, said the complaints stated that only resident doctors were available at the hospitals. “In the past, we had taken action against these doctors by sending them show-cause notices. But the case fell through in court because of insufficient evidence. For the first time, we did sting operations, collected enough evidence and have now asked the Maharashtra Medical Council to cancel their registration.”
Calling the doctors’ deception a “breach of trust”, Shingare said removing them from the medical college used to be the norm. “But that didn’t affect them; they could still practise privately.”
He said the request to the Maharashtra Medical Council was taken after directions from Medical Education Minister Girish Mahajan and Medical Education Secretary Sanjay Deshmukh.
Dr TP Lahane, joint director, DMER, said the rot runs deeper. “At least three to four doctors at each state-run hospital who were taking nonpractice allowance weren’t available on call. At JJ Hospital, a senior doctor, Dr Mohammed Ayub Karam Nabi Siddiqui from the urology department, was found practising at Prince Ali Khan Hospital while on duty.” Deshmukh said a detailed inquiry was conducted, following which we asked that the recommendation to the Maharashtra Medical Council was sent. “Action was taken after following due procedure.”
Doctors under lens
• Dr Mohammed Ayub Karam Nabi Siddiqui, urology department, JJ Hospital
• Sudarshan Gaurkar, Chetan Ghorpade, Vidya Patil, Vijay Kasa, D G Shitole and Sanjay Desai from Kolhapur Medical College
• Dr VR Rathod, Dr Arun Janbandhu, Dr Nishant Chavan of Shri Vasantrao Naik Government Medical College, Yavatmal