QUACKS: Union Health Ministry’s Data
According to the Union Health Ministry’s data, 57.3% of personnel currently practising allopathic medicine do not have a medical qualification.
Officials say CMs of all States asked to take appropriate action under the law against quacks
- 3% of personnel currently practising allopathic medicine do not have a medical qualification.
- There is a huge skew in the distribution of doctors working in the urban and rural areas, leaving rural and poor population in the clutches of quacks. Urban to rural doctor density ratio in India is 3.8:1.
- India’s doctor-population ratio is 1:1456 as compared with the World Health Organisation standards of 1:1000.
Provisions to deal with quacks:
- Section 15 of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 prohibits a person other than a medical practitioner enrolled on a State Medical Register to practice medicine in the State.
- Any person acting in contravention is punishable with imprisonment and fine.
- Since health is a State subject, the primary responsibility to deal with such cases lies with the respective State governments.
“Besides, there are also 7.63 lakh Ayurveda, Unani and Homeopathy (AUH) doctors in the country. Assuming 80% availability, it is estimated that around 6.1 lakh AUH doctors may be actually available for service, and considered together with allopathic doctors, we have a doctor-population ratio of 1:884, which is still low,” noted the Ministry.
Professor K. Srinath Reddy of the Public Health Foundation of India noted that the wide gaps in comprehensive primary healthcare services for many rural areas need to be filled through competent mid-level healthcare providers who are adequately trained, technologically enabled and legally empowered.
“Even as we must invest in producing more family physicians for primary care, we should not ignore the potential of well-trained non-physician care providers in community settings,” he added.
The Health Ministry states that it is now looking into bringing in mid-level healthcare providers to relieve overburdened specialists.
“Countries such as Thailand, United Kingdom, China and even (a city like) New York have permitted community health workers/ nurse practitioners into mainstream health services, with improved health outcomes.
In India, Chhattisgarh and Assam have experimented with community health workers, and that according to independent evaluations carried out by the Harvard School of Public Health, they have performed very well.
“There is no grounds for concern if the quality of personnel is regulated tightly,” said Dr. Harsh Vardhan.
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Source: The Hindu