In the wake of the recent unearthing of a sex determination racket across Bengaluru, Mandya, and Mysuru districts, the Health Department has directed the District Health Officers (DHOs) to enforce the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (KPME) Act more effectively and seal ‘fake clinics’.
In a circular issued in this regard, State Health Commissioner Randeep D. has said health officials have been directed to inspect all facilities and seal unauthorised hospitals, clinics, diagnostic laboratories run by ‘fake’ doctors.
“According to the KPME Act, all private medical institutions should mandatorily get a KPME registration. It has been noticed that fake doctors (quacks) who do not have the necessary qualifications to practice medicine are running clinics and laboratories illegally without registration. The number of fake clinics and doctors are on the rise. In this context, all district and taluk health officials have been directed to initiate appropriate action against such facilities and seal them,” stated the circular.
“According to Section 19 of the KPME Amendment Act, 2017, any person who establishes or runs an unregistered private medical institution is liable for imprisonment for a term of up to three years and a fine of ₹1 lakh. If any facility is found to be operating without registration, action will be taken to seal it till the case is settled. Patients admitted for treatment in such unregistered private medical institutions should be immediately transferred to other medical institutions and appropriate measures should be taken for the safety of the patients,” said Mr. Randeep.
Sources said the centre that was allegedly used for scanning in the recent sex determination racket, was not registered under the KPME Act. “Of the estimated 38,000 health facilities including diagnostic centres and laboratories in the State, around 34,000 have been registered under the KPME Act,” an official in charge of registration said.
“Following the recent case, we are only reiterating that the KPME Act should be implemented more effectively to weed out quacks or fake doctors who are practising medicine on completion of some correspondence courses,” the official added.