Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

In a recent shocking incident, a fake doctor identified as Padmanabha Mukhi Karua was arrested for providing treatment to patients in Rourkela Government Hospital. What was more perplexing was the fact that Mukhi was earlier in jail for doing the same kind of illegal activity. Under such circumstances, questions are being raised about how the hospital authorities failed to identify the fake doctor.

As per reports, Karua (whose educational qualification is Plus 2) has been working as a doctor in Rourkela Government Hospital for the last seven months since December 2023 by producing the certificate of a doctor from Jharkhand named Ramesh Chandra Jha. The fake doctor was prescribing medicines, testing blood pressure levels and conducting dialysis of the patients in the hospital. 

Around 2,800 patients conducted dialysis in the hospital in the last seven months and Karua was involved in the process for most of the patients. Several patients also alleged that the fake doctor had done their treatment.

“I have asked him about medicines many times. However, his prescription was not up to my satisfaction. I often see him at the hospital,” said Niranjan Karan, a relative of a patient.

“We have forwarded him (Karua) to Court and further investigation pertaining to him is currently underway. We have sent a team to Sundargarh district to look into the matter. Whenever required, we will take him to remand as part of the investigation process,” said Rourkela SP Brijesh Rai.

As per reports, Karua started his illegal work as a fake doctor in 2010. He started working as a doctor at a private hospital in Bhubaneswar by producing a fake certificate. However, he ran away from the hospital after being identified. Then he worked in Bandhamunda Railway Hospital in 2014 by producing a fake certificate again. But, he was terminated from the hospital. 

Karua was earlier (2019) arrested by police for treating the patients in Nua Gaon block by showing a fake certificate. Following allegations by local residents, he was arrested and forwarded to Court. However, after coming out of jail, Karua was working as a doctor in Rourkela Government Hospital by producing the certificate of a doctor from Jharkhand named Ramesh Chandra Jha.

The matter came to the fore when Karua applied for a loan from a private company. Subsequently, Raghunathpali police arrested him. 

According to the hospital Superintendent Dr Ganesh Prasad Das, Karua has been working in the hospital for the last seven months through an outsourcing company- Rahi Care Private Limited.

“We have issued show cause notice to the outsourcing company on why didn’t they verify certificates properly before giving the appointment. We have also informed our higher authorities about the development. We have decided to cut 40 per cent of the total amount of money to be paid to Rahi Care Private Limited,” said Das.

“We have already lodged an FIR against him (Karua),” said Mayur Agrawal, Area Manager of Rahi Care Private Limited.

Fake doctors arrested in Odisha

Well, incidents of fake doctors treating patients by producing fake certificates are nothing new in Odisha. Earlier in February 2022, a fake doctor identified as Ramesh Swain was arrested. He had duped several women by telling lies about his identification. Another fake doctor was arrested from the Sanakhemundi area in Ganjam in July 2023. A fake doctor named Subhrajit Panda was treating patients in Dhenkanal by impersonating as an experienced doctor from AIIMS.

In response to the development, Odisha Health Minister Mukesh Mahaling said that a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will be prepared to identify the fake doctors in the State.

“I have discussed about the fake doctor issue with the concerned Collector. An enquiry into the incident will be initiated and stringent action will be taken. A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will be prepared soon to identify the fake doctors in the State,” said Mahaling.

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