A District Medical Officer of Kerala caught a fake doctor in the private sector. But who will catch fake DMOs in the Kerala State Health Services Department? Justice M P Menon Commission that enquired into the fake mark list and MBBS certificate cases in the 1980s concluded its report by saying that the Commission, with its limited resources, time and staff, could only catch and expose a few fake doctors and the majority of them might still be working in the Health Services Department as Assistant Surgeons and Civil Surgeons. No follow up action was ever ordered and undertaken by the Chief Ministers, Health Ministers, Health Secretaries or the Directors of Health Services of Kerala. Most of them were duly promoted and some may have eventually become DMOs and other key Programme Officers. And it is, was, not the end of faking certificates and bribing for appointments. Things became only easier since then with the advent of computers, laser printers and other advancements available to those who want to fake things. Where do they actually verify the certificates a person claiming to be a doctor produces? There are three major recruiters in government sector- the Kerala Health Services Department, the Kerala Medical Education Department and the new, free, liberal and open route, National Rural Health Mission. In the last, anything is possible with its non-accountability. In the first two, there is no initial verification before appointment; everything is taken as gentleman’s word. After appointment, when the supposed doctor goes to the concerned institution to join is the SSLC Certificate and MBBS Certificate physically verified for proof of age and entry qualification, by a lowly clerk. They rarely hand over these to the clerks but just ask them to prepare a covering letter to the Accountant General without seeing them. A clerk in Trivandrum District once reported this to his superintendent and the superintendent said: ‘this person, from Sooranad, did not show them to even me, then how would to you? Anyway, give him the covering letter.’ SSLC Book of another doctor from Karunagappalli revealed that she secured 5 marks for English I Paper and 8 marks for English II Paper in Eighth standard. How will she ever become a doctor? When these facts were reported to higher authorities, the then Deputy DMO, DMO and DHS were very, very, very eager to suppress news; after decades, they sent this clerk away without four higher grades, promotion as UD Clerk on attainment of 50 years age, gratuity or even a pension, even though he had a corruption-less service of 32 years and was recruited through PSC. (Documentations are available online). They are such long-remembering and spiteful. So, before arresting others for faking, every doctor in the Kerala Health Services Department in Kerala, including the Director, has to prove before the public that they are not fakes. Let them put relevant details with scan copies of certificates in their official website and let people verify. Let IMA and KGMOA officials do it first.
First reported on 26 October 2014