Mumbai: Around 50 more doctors have now come under the scanner of Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) in Fake Post-Graduate (PG) certificate scam connected with the popular College of Physicians and Surgeons (CPS).
It is reported that these 50 doctors have been issued show cause notices by the state medical council; after scrutiny into the records of each of their 2015 registrations showed discrepancies. The investigation allegedly revealed that these doctors had submitted bogus PG certificates from CPS.
According to MMC officials, these doctors have failed or not appeared for the CPS exam and still have produced the certificates, only to commence specialist practice later.
Medical Dialogues has been extensively reporting about the scam since months. So far, 78 such doctors have been found guilty and their licences were suspended for a year (and five years for some).
The Maharashtra Medical Council stumbled upon the scam over two years ago, while scrutinizing documents of a candidate, who had submitted a fake certificate for registration. This prompted the medical council to launch a statewide probe into the matter.
Most fake degrees were of sought-after courses such as diploma in gynaecology and obstetrics, diplomas in ophthalmic medicine, general surgery and cardiology, fellowships in surgery, medicine.
The MMC investigations revealed that around 77 doctors had failed the CPS examinations, but managed to procure passing certificates and had been practising based on those specialists’ degrees since.
The medical council began taking action and 20 of these doctors were suspended in the month of April 2018. The 20 doctors had confessed that they paid lakhs of rupees in order to procure fake PG degrees and they also named a middleman who is paediatrician by profession. Later, the MMC summoned 53 specialists for questioning.
Further inquiry led to 50 more doctors coming out and pleading guilty to the fraud and submitting written apologies. These doctors were handed a one-year suspension by the council. Another 7, who did not show for the final hearing were handed over a 5-year ban.
The whole case of fake certificates was linked to a larger scam and is alleged to have been involving more medical practitioners, who were assisting these doctors to get their “Pass certificates.” Doctors allegedly paid between Rs 3 lakh and Rs 6 lakh for the certificates after failing the CPS examination.
The paediatrician, Dr Snehal Nyati’s name figured as the kingpin of the scam.
After a confirmed identification that he was the one allegedly helping doctors procure fake certificates, the MMC permanently revoked Dr Nyati’s registration to practice. The Bhoiwada police filed a charge sheet against Dr Nyati, but he got out on bail.
Later, in February this year, the medical council had seized fake PG degrees of 57 practicing doctors, and revoked the practising license of all fake degree holders.
Now, after further investigation into the 2015 registrations of the CPS database, discrepancies were discovered. Suspecting foul play by 50 more doctors, the MMC issued show cause notices to them for practising devoid of qualifications.
Speaking to Mirror, the President of MMC Dr Shivkumar Utture confirmed, “With the new inquiry onto 50 doctors, if they have submitted the bogus certificates — will lead to similar action.”
In the present case, the doctors have been registered with the council in 2015, with most of them practising in the state and others (around seven of the 50) in Gujarat… They will also convey the con to Gujarat Medical Council, where few of these doctors are working,” he added.
Informing about the probe, Dr Sarda, MMC said, “We are scrutinising the records of almost last 5 years and MMC has been successful in cracking down on doctors with fake certificates. CPS records are also being scrutinised. They have shown that some doctors are not registered with them, and yet are aligned with MMC.”
As its hard to distinguish between the real and fake certificates, it would take time to find and act against doctors with fake degrees, he added.