For the past 28 years, a urologist has been practising at the state-run St. George’s Hospital (of JJ group of hospitals) without having the relevant super speciality degree, according to documents accessed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
Dr Jagdish Bhavani, unit head of urology and superintendent at the hospital, does not have a super speciality degree (M Ch) in urology but he is practising since 1985.
Dr Bhavani, however, said these were mere allegations to defame him. “I had sought a recognition equivalent to M Ch from the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS) and obtained it. The state has approved me as a teacher for urology,” said Dr Bhavani.
However, the RTI documents state that Dr Bhavani’s appointment by the state government was not according to the rules. “Dr Bhavani has failed to produce his M Ch (Urology) degree even after being registered in 1982 as an student in KEM Hospital. He never completed his course,” alleged RTI activist Chetan Kothari.
It is mandatory for a doctor to register with the statutory body Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) in order to claim that he is a super specialist. A reply to an RTI query, MMC reveals that Dr Bhavani has not registered his additional qualification with the council. “As per section 7.20 of Medical Council of India (MCI), a physician shall not claim to be a specialist unless he has a special qualification in that branch,” explained RG Janjan, registrar at MMC.
Dr Bhavani refuted all claims and clarified that up to eight doctors in state-run hospitals have been practising for many years together without super speciality degrees. “Rules prior to 1985 stated that a person with a post-graduate degree and two years of experience can be recognised as a super speciality doctor. I belong to that clan of doctors who designed the M Ch curriculum.
Attempts are being made to defame me,” Dr Bhavani told dna.
“Without passing his degree and passing certificate of urology, he has been given to head a separate urology ward at the hospital,” said a senior doctor at Sir JJ group of hospitals, requesting anonymity.
When asked about Dr Bhavani’s posting, dean of Sir JJ group of hospitals Dr TP Lahane said: “He has been appointed by the state and is completely eligible for the position he is holding.”
In 1985, the state government appointed Dr Jagdish Bhavani as a urologist in the hospital.
In a reply to an RTI query, the Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) states that Dr Bhavani is not registered with them as a urologist, and a person not being recognised as having an additional qualification cannot claim to be of that super speciality.
Currently, he is the unit head of urology in St George’s Hospital.