Doctor illegally charged money for vaccinating in Manipur

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Imphal, 18th May 2021 (IFP): In what may be considered as serious unethical behaviour, and amid the shortage of COVID-19 vaccines crisis, a medical officer, who is in-charge of a government hospital, has been caught covertly vaccinating people at the price of Rs. 300 per individual.

The medical officer was caught red-handed at his residence by members of the local club, meira paibis along with a team of police personnel.

A report said that the doctor has been identified as Dr Athokpam Rajen, a resident of Thoubal Ningombam Utha Leikai; and he is currently the medical officer in charge of Yairipok Khoirom PHC.

In regard to the incident, convener of COVID-19 task force committee, Irom (O) Subashini said that quite a number of people were seen visiting and gathering at the residence of the doctor in the past few days. Accordingly, members of the task force committee along with a team of personnel from Thoubal Ningombam police outpost had gone to his residence on Saturday to check out what was going on, and he was found vaccinating about 15 individuals who did not belong to the locality, she said.

When enquired if his activity was performed with approval from the state government, Dr Athokpam Rajen replied that he started vaccinating people after receiving approval from the chief minister, and that it was an act for public welfare. He also declined to show any official documents when asked to produce one. However, the doctor assured that he will stop the activities right from the day and he will not perform such actions in the future. Following the assurance, the task force left his place, Subashini added.

Meanwhile, a statement from general secretary of Youth Development Committee (YDC)-Khoirom, Shaikhom Joy Mangang demanded that Dr Athokpam Rajen should not be sent back as medical officer in-charge of Khoirom PHC. After receiving reports that the doctor has been caught illegally vaccinating people at his residence with stolen vaccines meant for people of the area covered by Khoirom-PHC, the local residents of Khoirom along with YDC unanimously resolved to restrict him from entering the PHC as MO-in charge, it said.

Demanding that Dr Athokpam Rajen should immediately return back the PHC motor bike that he had been using for his personal purposes, the statement also appealed to the state government to appoint another Medical officer for Khoirom PHC at the earliest.

Meanwhile, CMO Thoubal Dr Y Nokul said that since there is a report that a doctor has been illegally vaccinating people, the department will consider all necessary actions that can be taken up against the doctor involved.