False medical consultation, on-paper advice for bed rest, and now likely police action — a doctor finds himself in the dock as he ‘helped’ students fulfil the 75% attendance norm to appear for exams at Panjab University.
Nearly 800 students have furnished medical certificates in the past eight days that say they required bed rest, ranging from five to 40 days, which was why they had been unable to attend lectures. And most of these have apparently been issued by one MBBS doctor, Dr R Gupta, who runs Gupta Ultrasound and X-Ray Lab in Sector 34, HT learnt from sources.
He took up to Rs 2,000 each, as per apologies submitted by at least two students; though he has denied having issued any such certificate. Ailments mentioned in the 100-odd certificates seen by HT include fever, cough, muscle pull, minor injury by road accident, and even jaundice. Purportedly Dr Gupta suggests 15 days of bed rest for viral fever while only five days for a more serious ailment, typhoid.
When contacted, Dr Devinder Dhawan, chief medical officer (CMO) at the on-campus Bhai Ghanaiya Ji (BGJ) Institute of Health, said, “We have received medical certificates in bulk from the same doctor, and some of them seem to be fictitious.” Any student who wants to cite medical reasons for absence has to submit certificates, if issued by off-campus doctors, to the CMO.
Others letterhead used too!
Many certificates are also on the letterhead of ‘Dr Anupam Jindal, NINS Brain and Spine Hospital, Sector 34’, with Dr R Gupta’s name-stamp on it. Dr Jindal, who works for a leading private hospital, told HT, “It’s been over two years that our hospital closed down, and we never had a colleague named R Gupta. This shows our letterheads were stolen. We will move the police.”
‘Not mine, not me!’
Dr R Gupta, however,denied having issued any certificate and said it could have been his staff misusing his name. “I am a radiologist; and why will I issue any certificate to the students? I stopped this practice a couple of years ago.”
He added that he was practising medicine for the past 40 years as “a very responsible person”.
“Around 1,000 letterheads are always lying in my laboratory; my staff must have misused those. I keep scolding them,” he said, and added, “Also, anybody can get a stamp made for, say, Rs 500 in my name. How can I be linked to NINS hospital when I have never been there?.”
This is not the first time such a case has come to light, according to PU dean for university instructions (DUI), AK Bhandari, who said, “We reported such a case and complained to the Medical Council of India (MCI). We will get an inquiry done by our CMO.” “I had submitted a fake medical certificate issued by Dr R Gupta. He took Rs 2,000,” reads the apology letter by a 6th-semester student of BCom-LLB.