• Breaking News

    TN Health Department cracks the whip on Quacks

    COIMBATORE: The medical services department has started meticulous gathering of information about quacks in the district, to be passed on to police for action. The police will soon start raiding clinics and mobile clinics run by unregistered practitioners and make arrests. 

    A committee consisting of district collector S.Archana Patnaik, the joint director, a drug inspector and a police inspector was
    formed on Monday for the crackdown on quacks. Pharmacies have also been instructed not to sell antibiotics and steroids over the counter, and keep an eye out for suspicious prescriptions. 

    A large number of uneducated or desperate people fall prey to fake Ayurveda or siddha practitioners who promise cures to any problem right from a bout of fever to heart ailments and cancer. 

    "What they really do is prescribe steroids, which suppresses symptoms like fever and body pain quickly, so many serious diseases like cancer are detected only in the last stages," says deputy director of public health Dr.A.Somasundaram. 

    The medical services department has started making a list of suspected quacks in different areas across the district. "We have started speaking to allopathic doctors to see if they know of any suspicious doctors in their areas," confirmed joint director of medical services Dawood Fathima. 

    "We are also working with the Indian Medical Association, which has filed several complaints with the police about fake doctors, to let us know if any of them are still practicing," said Fathima. 
    Once the list of quacks is ready, the health department will conduct some investigation on whether the doctor is a registered practitioner, their educational credentials and if they are prescribing medicines out of their ambit. 

    "There are two kinds of quacks," said Fathima. One kind is Siddha, Ayurveda and unani doctors who prescribe allopathic medicines or administer injections. And then there are those who claim to be traditional medicine practitioners but do not possess a registration number or educational qualifications, she said. 

    "We will hand over the names and addresses to the police, and together we will conduct a raid and arrest them," said Fathima. The drug control department in the district has also been asked to notify every pharmacy not to sell antibiotics and steroids without a prescription. 

    "They have also been asked to closely check prescriptions for registration numbers and notify the concerned officials if they find traditional practitioners prescribing allopathic medicines," confirmed Patnaik. 

    Thirty-six pharmacies were issued notices for selling the above categories of medications over the counter. "Or they are to call up the doctors personally to confirm the prescriptions," said Fathima. 
    This move comes after three quacks were arrested in Karur on December 24.

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