Chandigarh, Aug 31: Navjot Kaur Siddhu, Punjab's Chief Parliamentary Secretary (CPS) for Health and Family Welfare, has exposed through a sting operation how some government doctors illegally practice at private hospitals.
Pretending to be a patient named Nafisa and using the dupatta to hide her face, Navjot Kaur went to the Amar Hospital in Mohali yesterday. Complaining of severe stomach pain, she paid Rs 250 as fee for consulting Punjab Civil Medical Service (PCMS) doctor Sameer Kaushal.
As soon as he started attending to her, Navjot Kaur gave a missed call to the mediapersons waiting outside and they immediately entered the doctor's chamber. "Dr Sameer Kaushal, who is posted at the community health centre, village Kohrian, in district Sangrur as a government doctor, examined me wherein the press (electronic and print media) caught him on camera examining me lying on the emergency bed," Navjot Kaur said.
"On the main board at the entry of the hospital, the name of Dr Sameer Kaushal was displayed at the top of the list as chief medical officer with official timings displayed as Monday to Saturday 10 am to 2 pm and 6 pm to 8 pm. It is a shame that he is practicing privately in spite of being in government service. He visits his place of posting only once in one or two months and puts his attendance on the register despite his absence," the CPS said.
According to Navjot Kaur, senior doctors at Sangrur had put dots in the health centre's register to indicate the days on which Sameer Kaushal had not reported for work. Earlier this month, the CPS asked the Sangrur civil surgeon to submit a report but she did not receive any till date.
"We had been planning to lay the trap since Aug 6 when the panchayat president in Sangrur complained about the doctor's proxy attendance," Navjot Kaur told newspersons.
In an open letter to Punjab's Health Minister Madan Mohan Mittal, the CPS demanded Sameer Kaushal's immediate suspension "to send a message to those remaining doctors indulging in such malpractices and bringing a bad name to the most respected profession."
Sameer Kaushal, who gets a salary of Rs 1.5 lakh every month from the government, has been arrested under sections 168 (public servant unlawfully engaging in trade) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code. Police also registered a case against him under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act. He will be produced in court today.
Incidentally, the CPS is the wife of former India opener Navjot Singh Siddhu. The cricketer was elected to the Lok Sabha from the Amrtisar constituency on a BJP ticket in 2009.