Thiruvananthapuram: Three doctors of the General Hospital here have been suspended for allegedly taking money for issuing health cards to hotel employees. Shockingly, the cards issued by them were not in the prescribed format and apparently fabricated. A video footage revealed haggling for the bribes and a commission amount being handed over to an intermediary in the deal.
The action was taken against assistant surgeon Dr V Amit Kumar, who holds charge as the Resident Medical Officer, and casualty medical officers Dr Vinsa S Vincent and Dr Aysha S Govind.
Health Minister Veena George ordered their suspensions after video footage of the graft and forgery was out in the public.
The fabricated certificates, stamped with the seal and signature, were issued without even seeing the persons concerned by charging Rs 300 each. Security personnel of the hospital and workers who collect parking fees acted as the intermediaries. The authorities have directed to dismiss them from service forthwith.
The health card is to be issued by a qualified doctor after ensuring that the applicant has taken the COVID-19 vaccine and checking for any infectious disease, skin disorders, cuts or wounds and conducting an eye test for any visual defects. The certificates were issued at the General Hospital without following any of these procedures.
The video shows Dr Amit Kumar sitting in the security office, stamping the seal and issuing the certificates on applications received through intermediaries. Similar dealings by two women doctors too were revealed in the video. The Minister’s action came as the video came out in the public.
Digital health card likely
“Attempts to sabotage the government’s decision will be dealt with sternly. Action, including temporary suspension of the registration of doctors who engage in acts contrary to the ethical values of the medical profession, will be taken. Issuance of digital health cards is under consideration to prevent fraud. The applicant’s photograph, Aadhaar card details and the name of the attesting doctor will be included in the certificate. It will take a few months to change over to the system,” said Health Minister Veena George.