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May 15, 2010 at 12:45pm IST

MCI fallout: doctors with fake medical degree

New Delhi: Close on the heels of the corruption unearthed inside the Medical Council of India (MCI), a CNN-IBN investigation shows that many doctors working in Delhi's top hospitals don't even hold real medical degrees.

CNN-IBN investigation finds that Dr Jitendra Kumar Sharma, former secretary, Indian Medical Association (IMA) and Executive Committee member of Delhi Medical Association who had been operating from a posh South Delhi clinic for the last 15 years has no MBBS degree. A well known person in his fraternity, no one ever doubted his credentials till a routine verification process exposed his big secret.

It has been found that he had always used a forged registration certificate from the Orissa Medical Council. The fake doctor was eventually arrested and then released on bail.

But Sharma is not the only such doctor in the city. According to the Delhi Medical Council (DMC), several doctors working in top hospitals like Dharamshila Cancer Hospital, Max Balaji, Rockland and Batra Hospital have been found to possess fake degrees.

"The first case came to us from the Shanti Mukund Hospital, which sent us a list of 8 doctors, and we found out that out of the list of 8, seven were forged ones," says Girish Tyagi, Secretary, DMC.

The crackdown by authorities has led to arrest of people like Darshan Kaur Munjal also allegedly used to practice in her husband's maternity centre. Surprisingly, the 55 year old doctor says she started practising only days before she was caught.

In her defence, Munjal claims that the allegations against her are false.

"Police say there was a doctor who helped you get a certificate? The police is making it up," says Munjal.

The DMC got suspicious after her husband held back her certificate while sending the certificates of other doctors for verification. Like Sharma, Munjal was also arrested and then released on bail.

Meanwhile, the DMC is now cautioning people against fake doctors. In fact, it has now put the onus on the patients regarding such doctors.

"We request the general public that whenever they visit a clinic, they should ask to see the certificate," says Tyagi.

Police officials say that even after getting arrested and banned by medical councils, there is no guarantee that a doctor will not start functioning elsewhere under a fictitious identity.

However, stricter guidelines that make it mandatory for private hospitals to verify degrees of doctors before appointing them would go a long way in checking the problem.

You can watch the CNN-IBN special on the 'Big Medical Scam' on Saturday at 8.30 pm.

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