There are many centres across the State to examine them, only Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH), Chennai, is authorised to issue disability certificates for medical aspirants.
“I had to travel from Kanniyakumari to obtain disability certificate for my son who appeared for NEET examination this year. The medical board has to examine and conduct various tests on him for mobility and others aspects, which will take about a day or two. Only after that would they grant the certificate. But the medical board is not available on all days, so we have to plan our travel and accommodation accordingly. If there are centres in Kanniyakumari, it will be convenient for us,” says V Jayanth, father of a medical aspirant who visited the disability medical board at RGGGH recently.
Every time one has to obtain a disability certificate from the hospital, a fee of Rs 200 has to be paid. They often have to visit the hospital multiple times to obtain the certificate in the course-specific format. Those with multiple disabilities would have to stay in Chennai for a long time or make multiple trips, says R Santhosh, a medical aspirant who had to come to the city from Tiruchy to obtain the certificate.
“Some tests are done on the same day the application is submitted, while others are done after a few days. The process gets delayed because there are too many people awaiting the certificate. If the district headquarters hospitals are also authorised to issue the certificate, it could save us a lot of toil and time,” adds Santhosh.
The availability of medical board for examination is not the only major concern for the aspirants. Because not all specialities are available at the same medical board, people with eye related disabilities have to go to the Government Ophthalmic Hospital in Egmore to obtain the certificate. This is not just the case with NEET aspirants but also with other national government examinations.
“I had to obtain disability certificate for my wife. We had to go to the eye hospital in Egmore after being told that the checkup could not be done at RGGGH. There is no standard format for the certificate, and the data on disability certificate is not available online. A standard format should be adopted for all examinations like in the case of caste or community certificate that is valid for a year and can be used for multiple platforms,” says V Gopalakrishnan.
He had lodged a complaint in this regard with the Chief Minister’s Special Cell, but no action has been taken yet.
When asked, officials with the Directorate of Medical Education say that the centres for issuing disability certificate has been allotted by the National Testing Agency (NTA).
“The centers cannot be increased by the State Selection Committee, as it is the NTA that decides on the authorised hospitals,” said an official.