On November 1 this year, the Anekal town police and the taluk health officials conducted a series of raids and detained over 15 quacks in Anekal and Jigani on the city’s outskirts.

Most of the arrested were laboratory technicians, pharmacists, compounders and even high school dropouts. Many were running their clinics in pharmacies, claiming to be MBBS graduates. All were taken away by the police for further investigation. Later, when the police went to seal their clinics, there was no trace of any apparatus and medicines or even the clinic itself, said Taluk Health Officer S. Kumar, who was part of the joint operation.

Anekal Taluk has 110 clinics-cum-pharmacies and over 50 of them are operated by quacks, the police said. Shockingly, these fake doctors are not only not qualified but many of them are also illiterates, Mr. Kumar said.

Though every shop requires a licence to operate, medical practitioners running a clinic don’t. Quacks exploit this loophole. “Moreover, many enjoy the patronage of local politicians and whenever any inquiries are conducted, we get phone calls from them to drop the inquiries,” Mr. Kumar said.

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