Gujarat Medical Council suspends MBBS doctor for Three years on account of posing as critical care specialist, indulging in malpractice
Ahmedabad: Taking strong action against an MBBS practitioner on account of posing as an Intensivist and Critical Care specialist, as well as finding him guilty on serious allegations of malpractice and professional misconduct, The Gujarat Medical council has handed over a whopping 3-year suspension order.
This came after serious allegations were leveled against the doctor who allegedly misused the grave situation of Covid-19 pandemic, by not only providing treatment for which he was not qualified while posing as an intensivist but also extracting money from patients by providing inflated bills. Besides the suspension, the Gujarat Medical Council (GMC) has further decided to take the issue in an urgent inquiry.
As per the GMC's issued suspension order dated 12th October 2020, a copy of which is with Medical Dialogues the accused in the case is an Ahmedabad based doctor. Though his registration with the Council is for only MBBS, he was presenting allegedly himself as Critical Care Specialist & MD medicine before the patients and making a claim that he was having affiliation with around 12 leading hospitals in Ahmedabad.
The matter first surfaced when the complainant, in this case, the son of the elderly patient couple, moved the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) and the Gujarat Medical Council against the accused doctor after getting suspicious of the huge amount paid for the treatment of his parents to a certain entity having no connection with the hospital and receiving no receipts in return. The complainant provided documentary evidence of his claims and urged the authorities of strict action against the concerned doctor.
The council in the order narrated the case and stated that the doctor had allegedly referred an elderly patient couple declared Covid-19 positive to a Hospital with the submission that the couple was his known and the charges of their treatment will be paid by him and admitted the couple for treatment in said hospital. He had paid the charges of their treatment but against the bill, he had paid to the hospital he demanded and received a huge amounts with fake bills.
The council noted that the doctor had treated the couple for Covid-19 at Hospital and administered an unjustified dose of 1600 mg (grossly contrary to the guidelines) of Tocilizumab injections to a 70-year-old patient.
According to the Written submission of the hospital owner, the accused doctor had allegedly prepared false prescriptions for medicines that were not actually administered or given to the patient couple. "Prepared fake seals and letterheads of the Hospital and used them for preparing bills of costly medicines which are actually not mentioned in case papers of patients hence it can be said that such medicines are not given to patients," he stated.
It was found that the doctor had collected Rs.19.5 Lakh from the son of the patient couple by a different mode of payments, including third-party account transfers which were inflated amount against which he actually paid to the Hospital in regard with treatment. The doctor first had asked the kin to pay Rs 8 lakh, 4 lakh each, in a certain entity. When the kin's father was shifted to the ICU, he was asked to pay Rs 3 lakh. In the following days, a total of Rs 19.5 lakh was paid by the family and no receipt was provided to them.
It was further found that medicines worth Rs 10,34,910 were prepared by the said entity but the drugs mentioned in bills were not matching with the case papers submitted by the hospital.
It had also emerged from inquiries made by inquiry committee formed by AHNHA to probe in the matter that the doctor claimed before patients that he is a Critical Care Specialist and having affiliation with leading hospitals of Ahmedabad. The Hospital also mentioned him as an Intensivist (which according to the dictionary means a board-certified physician who provides special care for critically ill patients, also known as a critical care physician) in Discharge Certificates and as Critical Care in case papers of Pushya Hospital.
"Such claims made by Dr.** *** is not true and he had made a false submission regarding his credentials to misguide patients. Claiming to be a specialist unless the medical practitioner have put in a good few year of study and experience or have a special qualification in that branch is unethical as specified in clause 12 of Gujarat Medical Council Code of Medical Ethics, clause 7.20 of IMC, (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2002 and also prohibited & punishable under Section 33 of the Gujarat Medical Practitioners' Act, 1963. This can be considered as misconduct in accordance with Section 22(1)(b)(ii)(c) of the Gujarat Medical Council Act, 1967," the order read.
Ahmedabad Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (AHNHA), after preliminary inquiry, filed a complaint against him before the City Police Commissioner, Ahmedabad. The owner of the said Hospital also filed a complaint against the accused doctor.
Lastly, considering all above discussions, facts, documents, and submissions of concerned persons before the meeting, the medical council committee was of the view that the allegations sufficiently proved against the accused doctor and found him Guilty of Professional Misconduct. Therefore, the GMC authorities unanimously resolved as under:
1. The name of the doctor to be removed from the Register for a period of three (3) years.
2. Gujarat Medical Council requests AMC to file a criminal complaint in regard to the issue on hand.
3. Gujarat Medical Council directs the Hospital and AHNHA to inform about progress made in police complaints they have filed with Police.
4. Gujarat Medical Council directs Food & Drug Commissioner to inquire into and take necessary action regarding the role of M/s. Mission Enterprise in the whole matter on hand and submit its report to this Council also.
The misconduct has emerged and shocked the medical conscience of the medical council that a doctor had misused the pandemic situation to extract inflated money from patients who were fighting for life, the GMC stated in its resolution.
"The doctor did now show any cause or reply to notices sent by the council. 'Dr *** **** has made a written request two days before the meeting to allow him time for the perusal of the matter and produce his explanation, but he has not remained present before the executive committee (EC) and has not made such request or any submission in connection with the said application. Hence, the EC decides to proceed with the inquiry in his absence', the resolution added