Bindu Shajan Perappadan
NEW DELHI: The State Health Department is contemplating amending the rules governing the Delhi Medical Council in a bid to give it more teeth against quacks operating in the city.
Desperate to check the about 40,000 quacks practising in the city, Health Minister Yoganand Shastri has said that his department was looking at giving the DMC more power in the light of the recently unearthed kidney racket where several people from economically backward section were either duped or forced into donating their kidneys. He added that the long pending Anti-Quackery Bill, however, would take some time to be reviewed and worked upon.
“With the several incidents that have come to light we have realised that the DMC does not have enough powers and that there is an urgent need to empower it to become more efficient,” he added.
Meanwhile, senior doctors in the city have come together to demand that the long-pending Anti-Quackery Bill be re-viewed and implemented. Complaining that the present rules were no deterrent for quacks who seem to be running a flourishing business in the Capital, DMC Anti-Quackery Committee member Anil Bansal said: “The committee has met only once after being established over two years ago. The Council does not have enough power to ensure that quacks caught are put behind the bars or be fined heavily immediately. The committee has among others, members from the DMC, Health Department and Delhi police. We need for the Government to start talks on the Anti-Quackery Bill which will ensure stricter enforcement. They should not let muscle power win over the need for a safer healthcare system.”
The DMC maintains a register of medical practitioners, hears and decides appeals, prescribe a code of ethics for regulating medical professional and ensures that no unqualified person practices the modern system of medicine.
According to an unofficial estimate, Delhi has 40,000 quacks in the city, about 35,000 MBBS doctors registered with DMC, about 7,000 Ayurvedic practitioners registered with the Bharatiya Chikitsa Parishad, and about 2,000 Homeopaths registered with the Homeopathy Board.