“We were assured by both the DGP and the ADGP that they would take action against these persons”

Office-bearers of the Indian Medical Association on Wednesday handed over a list of over 2,000 quacks operating in the State to DGP Letika Saran, and ADGP (Law and Order) K. Radhakrishnan, urging them to crack down on these offenders.

The list, prepared painstakingly by the members of the IMA, contains names from each district, especially rural areas, said its secretary T.N.Ravishankar.

The association has been on the tail of quacks for decades, urging the government to weed them out and make punitive measures more intense. This move, however, comes in the wake of a recent High Court order requiring the IMA to furnish a list of persons who are practising medicine without a valid licence.

“We were assured by both the DGP and the ADGP that they would take action against these persons. These unqualified practitioners cause suffering to their patients because of wrong diagnosis and treatment. Some of them also dare to do surgery leading to disability and/or death,” Dr. Ravishankar added.

There was another category of “quacks” – those qualified in other systems of medicine, but practicing allopathic medicine, explained K.Prakasam, president, Tamil Nadu Medical Council. This included Siddha, Ayurveda, Unani and Homeopathy practitioners prescribing allopathic drugs.

“While those who have qualified themselves with a degree in these traditional systems have a fundamental knowledge of anatomy and physiology, they have no initiation into allopathic pharmacology. So they should not be allowed to prescribe any allopathic drug, including paracetamol,” Dr. Prakasam explained.

IMA members have committed themselves to updating the list of quacks periodically and forwarding the same to the government for action. Also, they have urged the government to intensify the punishment for quacks from the current standard of six months imprisonment and/or a fine of Rs. 1000, according to S.S.Sukumar, IMA state branch president. K.Vijayakumar, chairman, Legal Advisory Committee for the IMA, also spoke.