KATHMANDU, June 19:Nepal Medical Council (NMC), the regulatory body for all medical doctors, has started investigations into the educational certificates of all 16,000 doctors to whom it has provided practicing licenses so far.
This decision to start the investigations came as part of joint operations with the Nepal Police in an effort to identify individuals who have been working as doctors with the help of fake documents.
In their first such action, police have arrested 55 individuals who had allegedly used fake +2 or intermediate certificates to pursue their medical degrees.
A joint investigation of the intermediate and +2 certificates of around 1,000 doctors carried out by NMC and the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal Police found that over 100 doctors had produced fake certificates. "We have found that over 100 doctors had submitted fake +2 or intermediate certificates," an official at NMC told Republica on condition of anonymity.
Police have arrested 55 of those using fake certificates and the arrest can be arrested at any time, he said.
He also informed that NMC and CIB have been investigating the certificates of doctors for the last six months. "These are the findings of six months of work and the investigations will continue," he said.
According to officials, the team of CIB and NMC has so far been investigating only the intermediate-level certificates of doctors who studied at various universities in Bihar. "We have yet to investigate other certificates from other parts of India," he said adding, "Similarly we have yet to investigate the SLC, MBBS and MD certificates." He said NMC will scrap the licenses of all doctors whose +2 or intermediate certificates are found to be fake.
The official added that doctors with fake +2 or intermediate certificates will be automatically disqualified even if they have completed their medical degrees and their professional work is sound.
"Doctors submitting fake +2 and intermediate certificates can't be excused even if they have very good medical skills and have cured a large number of patients," added the official.
Meanwhile, Nepal Medical Association (NMA), the umbrella organization of medical doctors, has denounced the arrest of doctors. "NMC can scrap the licenses of doctors who pursued their medical degrees with the help of fake certificates," Dr Anjani Kumar Jha, chairman of NMA said, adding, "But arresting doctors from their work place is a gross violation of human rights."
Chairman Jha also described the doctors' arrest as a move to terrorize the profession. He, however, said that NMA is in favor of investigating the certificates of medical doctors.