Doha: Qatar's Supreme Council of Health (SCH) has blacklisted several licensed private physicians for issuing fake sick leave certificates to students and government employees.

The doctors have been permanently banned from practising in Qatar and could face a similar ban in the other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states after the SCH gave their names to the health authorities in the other countries of the six-member alliance.

The licences of the Qatar clinics where the doctors had been working have also been cancelled by the SCH Permanent Licensing Committee, Qatari daily The Peninsula reported on Monday, quoting an SCH statement.

The statement, however, did not say how many physicians lost their professional licences or mention their names or nationalities.

The physicians reportedly took money for issuing fake sick leave certificates, with the amount varying according to the number of off days mentioned in the note. Those who needed more days had to pay more money.

The suspects were caught after inspectors from SCH's Medical Licensing Department put them under observation for several days following information about their illegal practice.

The inspectors apparently approached the physicians to seek sick leave certificates which they received without being checked.

Some doctors pushed the sick-leave trade into issuing certificates with dates going back several months.

Most of the beneficiaries were students and government employees, who resorted to fake leave certificates to skip classes or duty.

The physicians have been punished for violating medical ethics under Emiri Decree 2/ 1983 on medical practice and all physicians resorting to such practices have been warned of stern action, the daily said.

The SCH said that all schools and companies should contact the Medical Licensing Department if they notice any suspected cases of fake leave certificates submitted by students or employees.

New measures to regulate the procedures for issuing sick leave certificates are being established, the statement said.