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General practitioner in India caught running eye clinic illegally

The Madras High Court in India has upheld its ruling of preventing general medial degree holders from practicing specialised medicine after it ordered the shut-down of an eye clinic in Chennai run by a general practitioner (GP).

The order came in response to a petition filed against an unnamed doctor pracitising ophthalmology. The doctor only held a Bachelor of Medicine- Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree.

The petitioner, named as S. Raja of Perambalur by The Hindu, argued that the subject has been practicing as an ophthalmologist at a government district hospital and was also serving as a coordinator of the Perambalur District Blindness Control Society.

The complainant also supplied the court with documents to support his allegations, claiming that the GP started taking an ophthalmology diploma course in 2013, but failed to finish the course in 2018. The doctor reportedly failed at least four examinations, and incurred four absences between 2015 and 2018.

Despite failing the requirements the GP continued practicing ophthalmology. The court ordered the clinic be closed until all requirements are met.

“Persons without suitable qualification should not be allowed to engage in any professional activity, much less in medicine and particularly eye,” the court justices said.

After being temporarily sealed, the doctor’s general clinic was reopened.

“We only wanted you to make sure that he does not practice as an ophthalmologist as alleged but sealing the clinic would directly affect his right, under Article 21 of the Constitution, to practice as a general physician,” the court ruled.

The doctor committed to avoiding practicing ophthalmology pending the issuance of his license.

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