Unhealthy trend: 42% of sick notes are found to be bogus

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The phenomenon of fraudulent sick leave reports submitted by employees to avoid salary deductions for abstaining from work is growing in the Kingdom.

It is setting a negative trend among employees and also causing monetary losses. Besides, private- and government-run health facilities are also largely involved in such fraudulent practices.

Despite the best efforts by authorities to introduce new regulations and advisories, the fraudulent manner to abstain from work by producing fake sick leave certificates continues unabated.

The National Anti-Corruption Commission (Nazaha) has blamed the government-run health facilities for issuing “bogus” sick leave to erring employees “thereby causing loss to the state exchequer.”

The commission has received several complaints regarding the issuance of fraudulent sick leave certificates by health facilities and found that a sizable number of complaints are genuine.

Nazaha found that 42 percent of sick leave reports issued by public hospitals and health centers in the Kingdom are dubious, local media reported, quoting commission sources.

A team, assigned by the commission, made surprise visits to 130 hospitals and health care centers in various parts of the Kingdom and found that 42 percent of the sick leave reports were not genuine, it said.

The report said that in most cases medical or sick reports were being issued without verification of the actual health of the person seeking it.

A senior official from the Ministry of Health, who declined to be named, said that the ministry is tightening up procedures for the issuance of medical certificates.

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