Quackery in the country is a growing menace, threatening the sanctity of Medical Profession and the very survival of the patients who are treated by such quacks. Like a growing weed, centers of these quacks are mushrooming across the country, rural and urban areas alike, whereby with the promise of cheaper treatment, unqualified people, feigning to be doctors play havoc with the lives of poor patients.
One such case had come out in the year in the 2013/14, when one Riyazuddin ( who declared himself to a be compounder, during court proceedings) had been convicted by the Hon’ble Delhi High Court, for illegally performing an MTP over a patient which had later resulted in the patient’s death. The accused had been convicted to five years of rigourous imprisonment as well as a fine of Rs 1,05,000 under the relevant sections of the MTP act as well as the IPC.
While punishing the offender for his crimes, the hon’ble court also directed the Delhi Police as well as the statutory bodies to controlling the menace of the quacks.
Following the responses from the concerned bodies, the Delhi High Court , summarized a broad action plan/guidelines of the Government of NCT of Delhi, Delhi Police, and Statutory Councils/authorities for controlling the menace of quacks in the capital. These can be summarised as follows:-
- The inspection team comprising of CDMO (Chief District Medical Officer), nominee of ISM (Indian Systems Of Medicine) and nodal officer of the statutory council shall carry out inspection in each district at least once a month or more frequently based on the complaints/ inputs. The office of CDMO will be the meeting/ convening point for the inspection team . The lead officer may requisition the police assistance, if required and shall forward the report for necessary action to the respective councils, police and /or court for further action as per law.
- The govt. Of NCT of Delhi has notified the Chief District Medical Officer of each district to be the lead officer of the inspection team. The names, addressed and phone numbers of the lead officers have been uploaded on the website of govt. Of NCT of Delhi . The ISM and five councils shall also nominate a nodal officer for each district by 5th June ,2014 and they shall send the list to the lead officer with a copy to additional commissioner of police ( HQ), DCP of each district as well as to directorate of health services of Delhi Govt.
- The councils shall maintain a data base of all surveys and mapping in relation to quackery and shall deploy sufficient logistics / resources of carry out these tasks on regular basis.
- The councils will put up the updated list of its members on their website which can be accessed by the Delhi Govt. As well as Delhi Police.
- The registrar of each council shall respond to the request for verification of a person within 24 hours and in any case not beyond 72 hours.
- Whenever a quack is identified upon verification by a council the closure proceedings of his/ her medical practice shall be the responsibility of the respective councils.
- The councils shall give adequate publicity to generate public awareness against quackery.
- The drug control Department shall also check malpractices and send a monthly report to the lead officer of the anti quackery team.
- The medical superintendent, Nursing Home cell, Directorate Of Health Services , Govt. Of NCT of Delhi shall take appropriate action against Nursing Home/ Hospitals who employ unqualified persons as RMO’s and shall send a monthly report to the lead officer of the anti-quackery team.
- The officers shall send quackery action taken report along with his Suggestions/ Recommendations to the additional director, Anti-Quackery cell , Govt. Of NCT of Delhi.
- The Delhi police shall promptly register an FIR upon receipt of a complaint from the Delhi Medical Council (DMC ) and delhi bhartiya chikitsa parishad (DBCP) Warranting the action under section 27 of DMC at or Under section 30 of DBCP at 1998 Respectively.
- SHO of the police station shall adequately brief the division / beat staff to gather information about quacks proactively. The credential of doubtful person shall be verified from the concern council and if the report of a council disclose the suspect to be quack , SHO shall promptly Register a case on the appropriate legal provisions.
- SHO shall forward outcome of the investigation to the concerned councils to enable the council to file the complaint under section 28 (2) of DMC act 1997 or 31 (2) of DBCP act 1998 as the case maybe.
- The primary responsibility as regulators shall be performed by the respective councils viz Delhi Medical Council, Delhi Bhartiya Chikitsa Parishad, Board Of Homeopathic System Of Medicine , Delhi Medical Council Of Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy and Delhi Dental Council who shall diligently discharge their responsibilities. Directorate Delhi health services and directorate of AYUSH shall continue to play a supportive and coordinative role at the administrative level.