In a shocking revelation, it has come to light that bogus doctors are operating fake laboratories (labs) in Vasai-Virar city. Several labs in the city have been found to be conducting medical tests on patients using digital signatures of doctors whose licenses have been revoked by the Maharashtra Medical Council. Due to the negligence of the municipal authorities, patients’ health is now at risk.
Vasai-Virar city is home to a significant number of laboratories. The Maharashtra Medical Council, responsible for granting licenses to qualified doctors to run these labs, has failed to monitor them effectively. Many labs in the city are functioning without the presence of qualified pathologists. These labs collect blood samples from patients for various tests even when there is no doctor present. Allegations have arisen that these labs are providing medical reports with the digital signatures of doctors who have had their licenses revoked. The Maharashtra Association of Practicing Pathologists and Microbiologists has raised concerns about this issue.
Doctors Whose Licenses Have Been Revoked
One of the doctors whose digital signature is allegedly being misused is Dr. Rajesh Soni, originally from Gujarat. However, he was providing medical reports to patients in Vasai-Virar and Mira Bhayandar cities. This raised concerns among the Maharashtra Association of Practicing Pathologists and Microbiologists, leading to a formal complaint with the Maharashtra Medical Council. Following this complaint, in 2021, Dr. Soni’s license was revoked for a period of six months.
Despite the suspension of his license, Dr. Soni continued to provide medical reports from the laboratories in question. The Maharashtra Medical Council did not take any action to ensure compliance with the suspension. As a result, several labs in Vasai-Virar and Mira Bhayandar are still issuing medical reports with Dr. Soni’s digital signature. The municipal authorities in Vasai-Virar and Mira Bhayandar have not taken any substantial action against these labs, which has put patients’ health at risk.
Notices Sent to Five Laboratories
There is a rule that medical tests cannot be conducted in the absence of a qualified pathologist. Dr. Rajesh Soni’s medical license expired in 2021, and yet the Vasai-Virar Municipal Corporation sent notices to five laboratories. However, neither Dr. Soni nor any of the laboratories have faced legal action so far. The power to take legal action lies with the Maharashtra Medical Council, as confirmed by Dr. Bhakti Chaudhari, the Chief Medical Officer of the Municipal Corporation.
Filing of Criminal Complaints
Due to the misuse of doctors’ digital signatures, patients’ medical reports have been issued without proper examination. As a result, patients may have received incorrect diagnoses and treatment plans. Concerned citizens, including Rajendra Dhage, a patient advocate, and Dr. Prasad Kulkarni, an executive member of the Maharashtra Association of Practicing Pathologists and Microbiologists, have filed criminal complaints against Dr. Soni and the relevant laboratories. These complaints allege that patients’ lives may have been endangered due to this fraudulent activity.
The revelation of bogus medical laboratories operating in Vasai-Virar city is a grave concern for public health. The misuse of digital signatures by doctors whose licenses have been revoked is not only illegal but also endangers the well-being of patients. Despite formal complaints, the Maharashtra Medical Council has failed to take adequate action against the guilty parties. The municipal authorities also appear to be turning a blind eye to this issue, allowing these fake laboratories to continue operating unchecked. Patients deserve better protection, and it is crucial that both the medical council and local authorities address this situation promptly to ensure the safety and health of the citizens in Vasai-Virar and Mira Bhayandar cities.