The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Finish school, treat patients

New Delhi, July 4: Heard of a man who studied commerce in higher secondary school, then practised medicine for a decade with forged MBBS and MD degrees from Patna University'

Navel Kishore Joshi is now cooling his heels in police custody here, but Delhi Medical Council (DMC) officials fear he just might represent the tip of an iceberg of phony medical certificates.

“This is really serious, and makes us wonder whether there are others out there with fake medical degrees masquerading as doctors,” said DMC president Dr Ranjit Roy Chaudhury.

The council first smelt fraud a week ago when Joshi applied for registration in Delhi, submitting documents showing he had MBBS and MD degrees from Patna University and was registered with the Bihar Medical Council. The DMC has made it mandatory for all medical doctors wishing to practise in the capital to re-register themselves with it.

On scrutiny, council officials noticed that Joshi had passed his higher secondary examination with non-science subjects — making him ineligible to even study medicine — with a third division. Flaws in the Patna University degree certificates also bolstered their suspicions. When contacted by the DMC, the Bihar Medical Council confirmed that it had never registered Joshi. The DMC then filed a complaint with police, who arrested Joshi. But the council is worried whether there is an underground industry in fake medical degrees.

Over the past five years, nearly 22,000 doctors practising in Delhi have got DMC registration. “We think there are at least 5,000 who have still not registered with us,” its secretary Dr Sunil Kumar Khattri said. “The majority would certainly be genuine doctors who probably don’t want to re-register with us as a matter of principle — but Joshi’s case makes us wonder whether there might also be more quacks with fake degrees.”

Earlier this year, the DMC had called a meeting of state councils and urged them to introduce the practice of re-registering doctors. It had recommended registration should be renewed every five years after doctors show they have undergone continuing medical education for at least 100 hours during the period.

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