The arrested man was using the registration number of a doctor from Karnataka, who has been identified as Dr Stephen Antony. Interestingly, Dr Anthony has been abroad since 2009 and had no idea that someone else was faking to be a doctor using his number
A fake doctor, who has been practising as a medical practitioner at a tea estate in Assam since 2018, was arrested by the police on June 3 (Thursday).
This bizarre incident has been reported from the Mokalbari tea estate in the Dibrugarh district in Assam and the man, who has been masquerading as a doctor, has been identified as one Simon Nag.
As per reports, the arrested man was using the registration number of a doctor from Karnataka, who has been identified as Dr Stephen Antony.
Interestingly, Dr Anthony has been abroad since 2009 and had no idea that someone else was faking to be a doctor using his number.
The fake doctor and his forgery were detected by one Dr Abhijit Neog- a Guwahati-based medical practitioner.
Dr Neog, while speaking to the media, informed that when he came in contact with "Dr Simon Nag", he developed some doubts and then he checked the details of the registration number and found that it was of someone else and was not of the person using it.
"I checked the details of the original registration number holder in the Indian Medical Registry where the permanent address of the doctor is Malleswaram in Bengaluru," The Times Of India reported quoting Dr Neog.
"I was surprised at the Singapore connection with a Dibrugarh tea garden," he added.
Dr Neog then established contact with the real Dr Stephen Antony, who graduated from St. John's Medical College, Bengaluru in 2006.
Dr Anthony got his registration from the Medical Council of India in 2007.
This is not the first case in Assam when a fake doctor was found practising in rural areas of tea estates of the states.
In fact, around 12 such cases have been detected in Assam in the last 2-3 years.
As the state continues to fight the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and has affected the tea gardens adversely, the arrest of the fake doctor has brought to light the deeply-rooted lacunas in the health system.
“Identity theft of doctors is not new in India. Mostly, doctors working in remote locations or abroad are targeted," Neog further said to The Times Of India.
So how do a fake doctor gets acceptance in remote or rural areas or at tea gardens?
Experts believe that such bogus medical practitioners get easily accepted as people don't suspect the qualification of specialist doctors and when there is a huge demand for doctors in Assam, such cases are bound to occur repeatedly.
Meanwhile, the accused, Simon Nag admitted before the media that he never passed MBBS but had passed the HSLC examination.
"I prescribed medicines like a doctor. I don't know where is the confusion. I will produce my original documents before the court," The Times Of India reported quoting Nag.
Police filed a suo moto case against the fake doctor but suspect the involvement of a bigger racket.
Police investigations have revealed that Nag has been serving as a doctor since 2009 and had served in several big tea estates before joining Mokalbari.
The icing on the cake is that this fake doctor was immensely popular among his patients.
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