Verify Education Certificates of All Govt Doctors, if Necessary, Kerala HC Tells State Govt
The Kerala High Court has issued a directive to the state government, urging them to verify the education certificates of all doctors currently serving in government hospitals. The court emphasized the need for specific guidelines to ensure that appointment orders for medical practitioners are only issued to candidates after their educational certificates have been verified and authenticated by the respective universities or institutions that issued them. The court clarified that this move is not to undermine the hardworking doctors in the state, who are a source of pride and strength, but rather to ensure that there are no unqualified individuals in the medical profession and to boost society's confidence in the healthcare system.
The court's order, dated July 26, came in response to a plea filed by a couple who lost their baby in 2019 due to alleged incompetence by a doctor at the Taluk headquarters hospital in Kollam district. The couple claimed that the doctor did not possess the required qualifications, despite stating otherwise. In light of the seriousness of the matter, Justice P V Kunhikrishnan ordered a crime branch probe into the case, instructing them to submit an action taken report within a month. A special investigation team will be constituted by the State Police Chief to handle the investigation, and the court emphasized that the team must conduct an impartial inquiry.
Regarding the demand for compensation, the court expressed confidence that the state government would address the petitioner's grievance appropriately. The court also directed the health ministry to file an affidavit detailing the amount of compensation that can be granted within one month. The court further asserted that if the allegations in the petition are true, it could raise concerns among the public about the medical community. Therefore, the government has a responsibility to allay these concerns and foster a doctor-friendly environment in society. The court acknowledged the commendable state of the public health department in Kerala but emphasized that increased scrutiny is necessary based on the allegations presented in this case.
To prevent similar incidents in the future, the court called for specific guidelines to ensure that appointment orders for medical practitioners are only given to candidates whose educational certificates have been duly verified and authenticated by the issuing universities or institutions. It stressed the importance of conducting necessary verification of educational certificates for all government doctors currently employed. The petitioners in this case were represented by advocates S R Prasanth and Bhanu Thilak.