New Delhi: Owing to the lackadaisical attitude of state government and minimal punishment against those found guilty, there has been a steep rise in the number of quacks masquerading as qualified doctors in the national capital. Presently, there are over 40,000 quacks operating within New Delhi.

On an average, Delhi Medical Council (DMC) receives around 350 complaints about quacks annually. In their monthly meeting, DMC initiates action on six to seven complaints. Due to the slow rate of action against fake doctors, several complaints have been pending for past many years. This is one of the major reasons behind the increasing number of quacks in the capital.

Quack doctors are available not only in clinics but they can be spotted in nursing homes and some of the major hospitals in the city. The number of registered MBBS doctors in New Delhi is around 40,000 which is sufficient to treat 1.75 crore residents of the national capital. However, each day there is a large influx of patients in the capital from adjoining states, and as a result the registered doctors prove insufficient.

Non-registered clinics rising

Presently, the number of non-registered nursing homes is higher than registered ones. There are 600 registered nursing homes in Delhi, whereas the number of non-registered surpasses 1000. 

In search for cheap medical treatment patients end up visiting fake doctors. They give high power anti-biotic to the patients which provide instant relief. These doctors are least bothered about the harmful effects of such anti-biotic.

Easy let off for culprits

In the absence of strict rules, the confidence level of quacks has been on a rise. In the last three years not even a single doctor has faced complete punishment because they are easily granted bail.

As per DMC rule, any doctor who treats for Allopath and has not been registered in DMC will fall in the category of quacks. As per the provision, such quacks will be sentenced to a three-year jail or will be fined for Rs 20,000 or both. Whereas, to check the quacks from practicing, Central Government had made an Act in 1956, which awards two years of imprisonment or Rs 2,000 fine or both.  To check quacks the government does not have its own network.

Action fails to yield result

Although DMC initiated some action against few quacks, it failed to prevent them from practicing. Few fake doctors were arrested, but they were soon given bails. Soon after, they resumed their practice. In order to avoid such a situation, DMC held a meeting with the Delhi Government. In the meeting it was decided that Chief District Medical Officer and Delhi Police will provide a report to DMC whether the quacks have closed their clinics or not after Council’s action against them. 

Four doctors to control 40,000 quacks

There are only four doctors in the anti-quackery cell of DMC, set up to control fake doctors. These four doctors are not given any additional payment for the task. They have been assigned the task of formulating policies and initiating action against quacks. The committee does not have its own network and no additional staff has been allotted to them.