IMA urges people to beware of quacks and have faith in qualified doctors
New Delhi, December 18, 2017: As per a study published by the WHO, only 58.4% of doctors have a medical qualification in urban India. The condition is worse in rural areas with only 18.8% having a proper medical qualification. India has lakhs of quacks and about 60,000 work out of Delhi alone. Additionally, the study also indicates that 57.3% allopathic doctors do not have a medical qualification and another 31.4% are educated only up to the secondary school level.
A quack or charlatan, as defined by the Supreme Court in 1996,is anyone practicing modern medicine without proper training in the discipline. The large number of quacks in both the rural and urban areas of India are a threat to the people and society at large. What exacerbates the situation is that if anything goes wrong, only few have the resources to file a complaint against them. Many just accept it as fate, particularly in the rural areas.
Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, National President Indian Medical Association (IMA) and President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Dr RN Tandon – Honorary Secretary General IMA in a joint statement, said, “In many parts of India, the sick are first taken to the ‘so-called’ faith healers offering treatment in the garb of doctors, before they are brought in to a hospital for actual treatment. It is a settled law that quacks are untrained and cannot diagnose or treat routine and emergency situations. They will invariably miss diagnosis of acute heart attack, paralysis, meningitis, early cancer, early rheumatoid arthritis, appendicitis, acute abdomen, acute pregnancy situations, dissection of aorta, pulmonary embolism etc. leading to a high mortality and morbidity. Their modus operandi is based on referral practice to corporate set ups with a desire of getting commissions.”
The IMA has taken a strong stand against quackery. This was also one of the issues raised by the association in a movement called Dilli Chalo conducted in June this year.
Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, said, “It takes over a decade for a modern medicine doctor to acquire sufficient knowledge to decide which antibiotic should be prescribed in a certain situation and which should be avoided. It’s not mathematics. One cannot learn medicine via Google or following the prescriptions of modern medicine doctors. Every case is different; hence, we say individualize treatment according to that particular patient. Most preventable deaths can be traced to ignoring warning signals or self-prescriptions or relying on medicines by quacks or chemists.”
IMA urges one and all to beware of quacks as they indulge in cuts and commissions, will never refer the patient in time, invariably give steroids in every case, and will over investigate the patient to appear genuine. On the other hand, people should have faith in registered and qualified doctors as they do not indulge in unethical practices, do not take or give commissions, work with the primary aim and dharma of healing and not financial gain, believe in Karma and not Kriya, and will always guide patients with the best of interest.