off record
Shaukat Ali Jawaid


False Medical Certificates
and Professional Ethics


Though there is no dearth of healthcare professionals who not only keep up professional ethics and practice ethical medicine but even then the image of the medical profession in the public is at its lowest ebb these days. Some of the reasons include the repeated strikes by the junior doctors closing Out Patients Departments, Emergency and sometimes even locking their senior professors, allegedly beating and misbehaving with patients and their attendants and so on.  This agitation virus has now infected the younger generation of healthcare professionals to such an extent that they have even forgotten the Hippocratic Oath and the moral values associated with this noble profession.

If this was no enough, even some senior healthcare professionals have also contributed to this image by issuing false medical certificates to corrupt politicians, bureaucrats and criminals. Whenever these people are arrested and courts start hearing cases against them, they find easy way out by getting a medical certificate of a disease which as per these certificates is not treatable in Pakistan and facilities for such a treatment are only available abroad. What is surprising to note is the fact that this “mysterious disease” from which they are alleged to be suffering goes away as soon as they fly out of the country and cross the Pakistani borders. Once out of the country, then they manage to remain in self-exile till such time that the matters are sorted out with the powers that be. This has not only badly affected the credibility of the institutions where these healthcare professionals work who issue these certificates but also their own credibility as well. Some of these who availed these medical certificates to go out of Pakistan are later seen active on the “Dancing Floors” in America, Europe and their activities are highlighted over the social media as well as on the electronic media.

If some of these healthcare professionals particularly those in government service cannot afford to say No and are under too much pressure to issue such false certificates, they should politely refuse to be part of such a medical board and request the government authorities to refer such cases to others in private practice who can afford to take correct decisions upholding the professional ethics. Even the issuance of these medical certificates in such cases should be for a particular period four to six or eight weeks and all those against whom cases are pending in courts should be bound to come back after treatment and face these cases.  Let the authorities not give an impression that laws are only for the common people but the affluent, mighty and those who are close to those in the power corridors will never be punished for their wrongdoings.

Tail Piece: The fish is often the last to notice the water in which it swims-Yogi Raman.

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