Ritwika Mitra, NEW DELHI, Aug 26, 2014,DHNS:
If you want to get a licence for driving a commercial vehicle, you could manage without a medical test.
Thanks to touts, quacks and doctors practising alternative medicine, you can get a fake medical certificate for Rs 100 outside regional transport offices (RTOs).Doctors’ associations in the city have now suggested that deputing doctors at the sites can resolve the problem.
It is mandatory for commercial vehicle drivers, learners above the age of 40 and those renewing licences to undergo a fitness test for colour blindness, deformity of limbs and auditory tests.
These are basic tests a person should undergo, so that lives on the city streets are not put at stake. But the ground scenario is quite different.
“While it is necessary for every driver to undergo a comprehensive medical test, certificates are available outside every transport office for Rs 50-Rs 100,” DMC member Dr Satish Lamba said
“Shops with boards screaming health certificates are available in abundance. As part of the Delhi Medical Council, we have repeatedly suggested that at least two doctors be appointed on contract at RTOs,” Dr Lamba added.
Doctors practising near RTOs said touts are running a racket that makes it easier for learners to get fake certificates.
Quacks and those practising alternative medicines like homeopathy or ayurveda are the ones benefitting from issuing these certificates.
“Quacks in the city are putting lives at risk as there is no monitoring. We have appealed several times to make it mandatory to depute doctors so that there is a clampdown on quacks,” chairperson of Delhi Medical Association’s anti-quackery cell Dr Anil Bansal said.
According to the guidelines of the Medical Council of India (MCI), only an allopathic doctor can issue fitness certificates.
“The MCI clearly mandates that legal certificates, including fitness certificate for driving, can only be signed by a registered medical practitioner, which means, an allopathic doctor,” said MCI ethics committee member Dr K K Aggarwal.
If found guilty of issuing fitness certificates, an illegal doctor can be jailed for a year or fined or can face both.
“Moreover, if a registered doctor is found issuing a certificate that is misleading or untrue, he faces suspension apart from criminal charges,” Dr Aggarwal said.
Issuing blank certificates is also common. “We received a case where a person was issued a blank health certificate with the stamp and signature. Anybody sitting with a chair and table outside these offices are issuing certificates,” DMC registrar Dr Girish Tyagi said.
“It is necessary that a person is examined properly for his eyesight, heart and lung conditions. But any attendant or unqualified doctor is giving out certificates these days,” he added. more