This article was originally published by The News Minute and has been republished with permission.
By TNM staff
The Telangana State Medical Council has issued a notice to all state district medical officers to report the action taken against any ‘quack doctors’ practicing as medical doctors, particularly in the rural regions of the state. This comes as a response to complaints which were earlier raised by the Healthcare Reforms Doctors Associations (HRDA) and the Telangana Junior Doctors Association (TJUDA).
“It is resolved that all the DM&HO’s of Telangana State under whose jurisdiction the fake and unqualified doctors in allopathy are practicing about whom several complaints were pending since 2015 are instructed to submit the action taken report,” reads the notice. It also included a listed of quacks against whom complaints were issued, asking for a report of action to be submitted about them all.
Earlier, several postgraduate students at Osmania and Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad had shut down services and protested against quack doctors practicing as medical doctors. A video of the protests shows the junior doctors from Osmania walking with the effigy of a ‘quack’ doctor shouting “We want justice,” as they walk around the hospital campus. Several junior doctors from Gandhi, KMC, RIMS, and GGMC (Nizamabad) hospitals also joined the protests.
The protests were in response to the presence of Health Minister Etela Rajender at a meeting of Rural Medical Practitioners (RMP) and Private Medical Practitioners (PMP) Welfare Association. An RMP or a rural medical practitioner is an unqualified healthcare practitioner who provides basic medical care in rural areas. A PMP or a private medical practitioner is one who can provide basic medical care and support, but does not have a medical degree, like nurse-midwives.
Speaking to TNM about the protests, TJUDA chairman Dr PS Vijeyender explained that only individuals with the appropriate certification and criteria were allowed to legally practice modern medicine and that the protest was being held to oppose those who took to clinical medicine without having apt qualifications to practice it.
The HRDA noticed that several First Aide Centres in the state were being run by quacks who did not have the eligibility to practice medicine in the centres. It was further noted that several quacks had taken up the prefix of ‘Dr’ in front of their names to seem more credible to possible patients, which is illegal. At present a list of 13 alleged quacks, against whom complaints were given have been circulated along with the notice issued.
The Telangana State Medical Council will review the report of action.