July 28, 2010

Over 10,000 quacks doing biz in Kanpur city

Quacks are having a gala time in the city these days. As the change in weather has also led to a rise in the number of patients, the quacks are also getting their 'share of increased business'.

In order to crackdown on quacks, the district health authorities have launched several campaigns in the past few months.

But these campaigns have been failing due to lack of will and determination on the part of enforcement machinery. No surprise that every month several FIRs are lodged against such quacks, but lack of strict punishment or fine brings these 'Munna Bhais' back in the business.

"There are more than 10,000 quacks in the district who are flourishing well. It is difficult to tighten the noose around them for they have such a nexus that if we reach the spot immediately after getting any information, they are nowhere to be seen in their clinics," said the chief medical officer (CMO), Dr Ashok Mishra.

He further said, "Mostly quacks flourish well in slums and small villages. In the month of June and July, FIRs were lodged against six quacks who were caught red-handed. Five were from the city and one from Chaubeypur. These quacks were booked under Section 15 (3) of the Indian Medical Council Act 1956, Sections 1419, 420, 468 and 471.

Citing other reasons for the mushrooming of quackery in the city, the sources said that these quacks have a nexus with registered practitioners. A quack initially approaches a registered practitioner and offers him money for using his banner. These quacks appease the registered practitioners by offering them money.

It needs to be mentioned here that there are more than 1,800 registered allopathy doctors, 653 ayurvedic and unani doctor and 724 homoeopathy doctors in the city.

A health official said that practitioners having degrees registered with the Medical Council, Indian Medical Council (ayurvedic/unani), Homoeopathy Council and Dental/Surgery Council are considered genuine doctors, while the rest are impostors.

The sources in the health department pointed out that even if the department wants to proceed against the quacks for taking up medical practice in violation of relevant laws, a comprehensive mechanism, police force and required manpower are simply not available for the task.

"Our efforts are not justified till such quacks carrying out their illegal practice are not nabbed by the police," said an official.

As qualified doctors in the city charge high check-up fee, poor denizens are left with no option but to visit the unauthorised practitioners.

Seeta , a resident of Juhi areas, said, "We cannot afford to visit the doctors who charge exorbitant fee. We only go to doctors who charge reasonable fee."

Link: Original Article

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