Model Fake Certificate
CHENNAI: Next time you visit a siddha doctor, take a close look at his name board. If he does not have a BSMS (Bachelor in Siddha Medical Sciences) next to his name, but states he is an 'enlisted siddha practitioner', you have good reason to be wary.
There are more than 2,000 fake private siddha practitioners in the state, members of the Indian Siddha Medical Graduates Association (ISMGA) said on Friday.
The association alleges that many practitioners hold fake registration certificates from Tamil Nadu Siddha Medical Council, qualifying them under the categories B, C or enlistment practitioners, which means that they have no formal degree or qualification, but possess decades of experience and knowledge of traditional medicine to treat patients.
The association has filed a complaint with the chief minister's cell and city police to immediately take action against these quacks, former registrars and heads whose signatures are on their certificates, as well as the Indian Medical Practitioners' Cooperative Pharmacy and Stores (IMPCOPS) for registering the fake doctors and allowing them to practice.
"The registrars obviously procured the letterhead and fake seals and signed the certificates. The state siddha council informed IMPCOPS in 2010 that 2,000 practitioners registered in 2007 were fake, but they were still allowed to practice," said ISMGA secretary Padmaram Chandra.
These B, C and enlistment categories were included according to the Tamil Nadu Siddha System of Medicine Act, 1997 to allow traditional and village practitioners of the science to register as legal practitioners. This method of registration was stopped in 2002, so practitioners who now hold B, C and enlistment certificates should be around 70 years old, said ISMGA spokesperson Muthukumar. Instead, he said, some are only 30 years old.
The fake certificates have the Tamil Nadu Siddha Medical Council's letterhead, seal and signatures of now retired registrars of the council, and are dated back to 1997 and 1998. "There were several discrepancies. The seals and the fonts on the certificates are different and serial numbers of certificates issued in the same month range from 4,000 to 8,000," Muthukumar said.
Siddha practitioners initially got suspicious because many practitioners were too young - between 30 and 40 years old - to be registered under the enlisted categories. "We wrote to the state siddha council, which confirmed that at least 400 of the 2,000 certificates were not genuine," Chandra said.
IMPCOPS president A Ramalingam denied the allegations and said the cooperative had recently rejected 1,000 members with fake certificates.
"We have rejected many membership applications and renewals from January after we found that they had fake certificates," he said. "I have written to the state siddha medical council and the Central Council for Indian Medicine to inform them about the fraud."