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Discrepancies cloud Health Dept functioning

india Updated: Jul 15, 2006 00:16 IST

EVEN AT the first glance, the Health Department register throws up a plethora of discrepancies. There are names to which certificates were issued but no addresses. Further, there is no knowing whether the degree of disability mentioned is authentic or has been stretched.

When the medical board — comprising an eye specialist, ENT specialist, Orthopaedic specialist and the Chairman— sits every Wednesday at the UHM Hospital, the touts outnumber the hospital staff.

There are cases galore when persons were issued physical disability certificates for having weak eyes. To get a 40% disability certificate, the deformity must be either 3/60 or 6/18 in either eye. However, there are several persons who don’t have weakness in their eyes to that extent but were still issued a disability certificate by the medical board, whose chairman is the Chief Medical Officer himself.

When investigated, two women were discovered who live in the Civil Lines area and their eyesight is 6/6. They managed to get a disability certificate after paying Rs 2500 each. These two women work at a semi-government organisation and one of them commutes daily to and fro from Barabanki to her job.

Similarly, the Health Department has no authentic record to confirm whether the disability certificates issued, mentioning the percentage of disability is correct, or it was deliberately stretched.

Take the case of one Mahendra Pratap Singh. In hospital records, his disability percentage is mentioned as 45 but there is no mention of his address. When the concerned clerk at CMO office was asked to tell the address of Singh, the clerk blatantly said, “Go and ask the CMO or doctors who make disability medical certificates.”

On the day when the medical board sits, a tout, who is himself physically disabled and a so-called chairman of ‘Viklang Association’ plays a key role in getting fake disability certificates made.

Ironically, there is no address of one Mastram Yadav, son of Meva. Mastram was issued disability certificate of 100% by the medical board. A health department source said, “If a high-level inquiry is conducted, then 60% of disability certificates issued by the medical board would be proved fake.”