Bogus Doctors

Indian Medical Association

Mumbai, Aug 7, 2015

Against the backdrop of the complaints that about 700 bogus doctors are practising in Maharashtra, the State government has formed a committee comprising members from the Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC), Mumbai municipal commissioner and Mumbai police commissioner. The first meeting of the committee was successfully held recently to discuss the actions to be taken against the bogus medical practitioners or quacks.

The committee has been aimed at making a massive crackdown on quacks who have been operating out of Mumbai slums and remote areas where they target patients who are illiterate and have no access to safe medical treatment as guaranteed by the medical profession today. MMC is an association with around 85,000 allopaths under its umbrella. The committee will also be appealing to the State level and District level committees of Homoeopathy, Ayurveda and Unani streams of traditional medicine to take action against the bogus doctors. Currently, action can be taken against the quacks under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and under the provisions of Indian Penal Code (IPC). According to the complaints received by the Council, the 700 doctors under the MMC scanner don’t have proper qualification to carry out the duties of a medical professional. The anti-quackery cell as of now can file criminal cases against these bogus doctors. With the formation of the committee, MMC will discuss and explore the issue of growing number of quacks in the state in a detailed manner in a couple of months’ time.

Maharashtra State Pharmacy Council (MSPC) had also detected 1400 such cases of bogus doctors in pharmacy inspections related to Section 42 of the Pharmacy Act, 1948 last year and submitted the report to the district vigilance committee for further action. A Gadchiroli-based bogus doctor was convicted for violating Section 33 of the Maharashtra Medical Practitioners Act, 1961. The quack was sentenced to two years imprisonment with a fine of Rs.5000 in contravention to the provisions of the law. Section 33 of Maharashtra Medical Practitioners Act prohibits medical practice by unregistered practitioners.

According to an official, the incident of Gadchiroli has highlighted the plight of patients who are vulnerable to quacks in the absence of an effective monitoring and regulatory system in place.

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