Odisha: Out on bail, man ‘doctored’ his way to Rourkela Government Hospital job

Fifty-three-year-old Padmanava Mukhi Karua, arrested for faking as a doctor by assuming identity of another person, was convicted for a similar crime and out on bail.
Rourkela Government Hospital
Rourkela Government HospitalPhoto | Express

ROURKELA: Fifty-three-year-old Padmanava Mukhi Karua, arrested for faking as a doctor by assuming identity of another person, was convicted for a similar crime and out on bail when he forged his way through to land the job at the dialysis unit of Rourkela Government Hospital (RGH), investigation has revealed.

RN Pali police said Padmanava was sentenced to five years imprisonment for a similar crime. Not one to learn from his past, he impersonated as a doctor to get engaged at RGH through outsourcing agency Rahi Care Pvt Ltd (RCPL) on December 26, 2023 when he was out on bail.

On November 13, 2019, Town Police had arrested Padmanava while he was serving at Hathibari primary health centre (new) in Nuagaon block of Sundargarh district. RN Pali IIC Rajendra Swain said the accused’s appointment was based on forged documents in his own name. A court in Sundargarh town in 2022 convicted him for the crime and awarded five years jail term and he was out on bail.

For getting engaged at RGH, police said, Karua had forged the documents of a purported doctor Ramesh Chandra Jha of neighbouring Jharkhand. The documents are being verified to ascertain if any person by the name of Dr Jha really exists, Swain said.

Based on the complaint of Bajaj Finance, a case under sections 419, 420, 467, 468 and 71 of IPC has been filed and no complaint of medical case reported yet. He said RCPL has also filed a complaint against Padmanava basing on which another case under different sections would be filed. The accused continues to be in judicial custody.

Padmanava had also briefly served at Hi-Tech Medical College and Hospital in 2010 but escaped after his identity got revealed. A native of West Singhbhum district in Jharkhand, the fake doctor grew up in Rourkela where his father was an employee of the Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP). He had studied at a school at sector-14 and pursued Plus II from Ispat College at sector-16. The 53-year-old had worked at a medical store for sometime in Jamshedpur and this is where he got interested in the medical profession.

Padmanava had told investigators that faking as a doctor was safe and carried prestige as well as good pay. Meanwhile, his engagement at RGH has exposed loopholes in the verification process followed by RCPL while appointing staff at the facility.

Acting director of RGH Dr Ganesh Prasad Das said for operation of the dialysis unit, the RGH was responsible for only providing space and basic facilities and paying dialysis cost per head count to RCPL. He said RCPL was appointed in 2021 under National Health Mission at the state level and RGH has no direct control over verification of personnel engaged by RCPL.

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