‘Take steps to verify certificates of doctors in state run hospitals,’ Kerala HC asks govt

Kochi, July 28 (IANS) Kerala High Court on Friday asked the state government to take necessary steps to verify the education certificates of all doctors working in government run hospitals.

“Certain guidelines are necessary to ensure that appointment orders of medical practitioners in the state are issued to selected candidates only after getting their educational certificates verified and authenticated by the Universities/institution that have issued to them. If necessary, steps should be taken to verify the education certificates of all government doctors working as on today,” read the High Court order.

The Court said that this is not to demoralise the hard working doctors, who are the strength and pride of the state, but only to make sure that culprits are not there in the profession and also to built confidence in the society.

“It is the duty of the government to rule out these apprehensions and to create a doctor friendly atmosphere in our society,” the Court added.

The Court also pointed out the words of Carl Jung, ‘medicines cure diseases but only doctors can cure patients’.

The Court directions came after hearing a petitioner, Sreedevi, who was admitted in the Taluk Headquarters Hospital, Karunagappally for delivering her baby.

She was taken directly to the labour room since she was already going through mild labour pain. A doctor examined her and then left the hospital.

When the patient started experiencing severe labour pain few hours later, this doctor did not turn up even though nurses tried to contact her. After some complications arose in the pregnancy and by the time the doctor returned, Sreedevi had delivered a still born baby.

The petitioner claimed that there was gross negligence on the part of the doctor. However, the doctor claimed that she has an MBBS degree and an MS in obstetrics and gynecology.

But through an RTI application, the petitioners found out that the doctor had actually failed in Diploma in Gynecology and Obstetrics course.

This prompted the petitioners to approach the High Court seeking Rs 20 lakh compensation from the State government, to be recovered from the doctor.

The Court noted from a statement filed by the Directorate of Health Service that the doctor had not received the degrees as she claimed.

Upon being informed that a crime has been registered in the case, the Court ordered the State Police Chief to constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate the case within one week and file an action taken report within one month.

The Court also opined that the public health sector needs more scrutiny and, therefore, directed the government to include its views on the matter in its affidavit and posted the case for further hearing on September 4th.

–IANS

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