A large number of doctors in Bangladesh have bizarre qualifications and credentials on their prescriptions and visiting cardsA large number of doctors in Bangladesh have bizarre qualifications and credentials on their prescriptions and visiting cards
These include degree training courses such as PGT, BHS, FRCP, FRHS, FICA, FICS, FAMS, FIGP, and so on.
Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA) has declared that these are deceptive and established certain directives to prevent fraud. These directives also state that these degrees are not Bangladesh Medical and Dental Council (BMDC) certified and technically not educational qualifications.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) Treasurer Dr Mohammad Ali Asgar Morol has said that these qualifications are completely worthless.
A notice warning registered doctors and dentists not to use credentials such as PGT and/or BHS, adding (Part-1), (Part-2), (In course), (Thesis), (Last part), (Course complete), or mentioning any fellowship they may be a part of such as FRCP, FRHS, FICA, etc, on their signboards, prescription pads, and/or visiting cards was sent out by BMDC on 17 April 2017.
This notice also mentioned that some doctors refer to themselves as specialists of a particular field of medical science despite not having post-graduation degrees in that field. This is deceptive, fraudulent, and along with any degree which is not recognized by BMDC, should not be used by doctors and dentists.
A source at the BMDC said the organization set up a system of exams in 2011 which are held in April and October to verify degrees and fellowships that doctors have acquired abroad. Holders of such degrees must apply to the BMDC for the ability to use them, and only after given the green light are they able to use the qualifications in their credentials.
Should they fail this exam, the applicants are not allowed to use their qualifications, regardless of the nature of their degrees. BMDC has a five-member committee who oversee the process.
Dr Md Ali Asgar Morol said: “The only way to recognize a certified doctor is to check for BMDC-recognized degrees. BMDC has allowed MBBS and BDS degree holders to earn diplomas such as FCPS, PhD, MD, MS, MPhil, etc.
Moreover, some of the degrees doctors use on their names are false or illegal. There was a time when health ministry officials would also use BDS (Upper) or (Lower) as part of their credentials, but no longer.”
According to the subsections of Section 29 of the BMDC Act of 2010, which deal with doctors and dentists practicing under false designations, degrees, etc. (1) Any registered doctor or dentist should not use any names, designations, or symbols in a way that projects the idea that they have any qualifications that they in reality do not. Only verified and recognized medical or dental degrees and qualifications are allowed. (2) Anyone not pertaining to subsection (1) will be considered a legal offender and be sentenced to three years in prison and/or a fine of Tk1,00,000. If the person continues the offense, they will be subjected to a minimum fine of Tk50,000 for each repetition.
BMDC Registrar Dr Md Zahedul Haque Bashunia said: “Any qualifications used by doctors and dentists in the country must be recognized by BMDC. We have already warned them not do otherwise. However, we have been relying on the consciences and discretion of doctors, and thus have not punished anyone yet.”
BMA Secretary General Dr Md Ihteshamul Haque Chowdhury said: “This malpractice has reduced considerably in recent years. We have asked doctors all over the country to abide by BMDC’s directives. Some senior doctors may still be using these qualifications as it is hard to change long-term habits. However, I believe that doctors will themselves cease to use these credentials.
This article was first published on banglatribune.com