Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fake Medical Certifications

     When the whole nation chants the anti-corruption slogans, looking corruption from different vantage points and at different levels is necessary. Take the case of the fake medical certificates in our day-to-day lives. We require medical certificates either for applying for medical leaves, or for getting monetary reimbursements. And there are several doctors who are ready to issue such inappropriate certificates. We, as common people, do not consider such practices as a fraud, and claim it to be common practice. It is also a sort of corruption, though insignificant, at minuscule level. But the menace of fake medical certificates is having multi-faceted effects.

     There were few issues raised with the help of media such as the fake certifications fraud in the airline industry. But lesser is the news about certified and practicing doctors having no qualms in releasing fake medical certificates. Unfortunately, the fact is that unlike other certified professions (CA, for instance), where one can take to task the person who provides a false certificate, there is no mass propaganda by the government to suspend or debar doctors who have no qualms in giving fake certificates.

     Last year, the administrators of Jamia Millia Islamia University debarred around 200 students who provided fake medical certificates (to compensate for their poor attendance) in order to become eligible for the examination and police complaints were also filed against 12 doctors accused for issuing those certificates. Such corruption of fake certification is rampant with the job seekers too as most of the companies ask a medical fitness certificate at the time of joining.

     Such practice is also widespread among government employees, bureaucrats, VIPs and politicians. Many of them are fraudulently certified that the person needs immediate hospitalisation just before an arrest. From Ramalinga Raju to Yeddyruppa, from Kalmadi to Amar Singh, the fact remains apparent. In 2001, in an infamous case in the Allahabad court, Deepti - a victim of dowry torture - was declared mentally unfit by doctors and was even sent to a mental asylum only to be later released, when it was proved otherwise. How can one forget Dr JS Bedi who issued a fake medical certification to Vikas Gill (convict of the Jessica Lal murder case) stating that he was unwell and needed rest.

     So, it is clear that we lack morality and ethics in our lives and profession, combined by our double-standard mentality. Corruption, when starts from the grass root level, can only be uprooted from the base level. And the initiative must start within ourselves.....